Dognapping On the Rise—Protect Your Pet

Thursday, August 2, 2012 - 11:15am

Pet theft is on the rise. The American Kennel Club, which has been tracking pet thefts since 2007, reported a 32% increase in dog thefts last year.

While some animals are snatched from their yards or during home invasions, opportunistic thieves most commonly steal dogs left in cars or tied up outside stores. In the ASPCA’s hometown of New York City, dognappings skyrocket every summer as pet parents take advantage of nice weather to combine dog-walking with errand-running.

Protect Your Pet
Avoid becoming a victim of this heartbreaking crime!

  • When running errands around town, visit pet-friendly establishments or please leave your dog at home.
  • Keep a close eye on your pet in designated off-leash areas, where he could become a target for criminals looking to make a quick buck. (Pet thieves often try to resell—or even hold for ransom—stolen dogs.)
  • Avoid leaving your pet unattended in the front yard, especially if your lawn is exposed or accessible.
  • The same rules apply for leaving your pet tied up outside a store. In addition to being vulnerable to theft and teasing, your dog might escape or get injured.
  • Microchip your pet! Microchipping can often mean the difference between temporary and permanent separation from your furry loved one.

For more important information about what to do if your pet is missing, please read our article on Finding a Lost Pet.

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Nobody want to lose their beloved pet. To STEAL a pet!? That is just a cruel heartless self thing to do!! But I want to bring up a IMPORTANT point that Lost Dogs Illinois ( has brought up in a recent blog posting of theirs:

"The first thing we need to do is clearly define the difference between a dog that is “picked up” and one that is stolen. A picked up dog is one that was lost or perceived to be lost and a Good Samaritan took the dog to keep it out of harm’s way. Very few dogs are actually stolen. Stealing involves a person who commits a crime of intent by illegally entering your house, yard or vehicle and taking your dog. There is a big difference because the motive is different. We will cover the stolen dogs in a future article. But now let’s get back to the dog that was picked up by a well-meaning passerby."

I've seen on their forum & FB page a lot of Good Samaritans find & return pets to their owners or the local authorities! Part of being a responsible pet owner is NOT leaving your pet tied up or locked in a car!


If you love them, don't leave them. Protect them. Kidnapping of any kind is painful of both of you.


It is my experience that the majority of pet theft happens to what dogs that look like they might be pure breeds. Mutts are rarely stollen except in areas where dog fighting is a problem, then any dog is in jepority of being snached to be used as a bait dog (a terrible death) The bottom line is. Don't leave your dog unattended, not in the yard, not in the car, and not tied up to your car or in front of a store. If you can't see the dog, the dog is not being protected.

No one will ever win the debate of "purchase vs adopt" argument. But the only reputable breeder is one that does not breed without a waiting list of approved adopters who have already put down deposits for the litter being bred. There are many "pure breeds" in shelters right now. Statisticly, a good 30% of the 6,000,000 dogs euthnized annually in this country are pure breeds and designer dogs. I have rec'd what I believe are pure breeds at my rescue, spayed or neuter them and then adopted them out for a nominal fee of just $75.00. We have no extra fee for what we think may be a pure bred dog.

Elizabeth Rose

And I would add that cross-breeds and "mutts" are often attractive to lab-dog traders. Never assume that your dog is ever immune to being stolen, always watch your pets with an eagle eye!


Many many years ago, before microchipping was common, I owned a English Bulldog that they stole right out of my backyard when she was left alone for 5 minutes going potty. Luckily I had her tattooed in a area I wouldn't disclose with her AKC ID# & posted up signs immediately in my neighborhood. I was one of the lucky people, she was returned to me 2 days later, without her personal ID & collar. It was like losing a child, it's a awful feeling. My current pets are ALL microchipped. It's a start to help get them back to you.

Shari Ann Lenway

If you can not keep a 24 eye watch when you decide to take your pets to do errands or any other activity, you should leave your pet at home and not risk losing him/her. Pets are like small children, they should never be untended, unless someone else can keep any eye on them for you.

Al Malpa

In the state of Connecticut an animal control officer can write a ticket for hundreds of dollars upon finding a dog in a car when the weather is hot, even when the windows are left open several inches. I covered a story lately (journalist) where a person who heard the dog barking called the local police, who called animal control, a ticket was written and the dog was removed from the car and taken to a shelter where the owner was required to pay for room and board until the dog was retrieved. Dog owners can choose to go to court, but if found guilty of the charge can be forced to pay an even greater fine. In this case the person didn't want to leave the dog by itself at home.

Paula J Mooney


What exactly is the flyer to which you refer in your posts? It sounds like a terrific idea & I would like to keep some on hand.
Dont know What people are thinking when they leave their dogs "baking" in their car. Thank you!


Hi, here is the flyer for those of you who want to print it out and keep some in your car!


All the emotion in these comments testifies of the place our pets hold in hearts and lives. With that in mind, please just do what is best for both the animal and the parent. If you have time to "rescue" or "steal" or report and await the police or animal control, you probably have time to wait with the animal until the owner shows up and express your concerns, whether about the heat or petnappers. If you don't have time to wait, then please call the authorities. Don't neglect the good of the animal for the sake of its owners, but please don't neglect the feelings of the owners for the sake of your own heroism.