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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Staci Wilkes

i live in southern California and dog theft is DEFINITELY on the rise!!! There was a puppy stolen out of a car that was parked at Macys a few months ago. The puppy was found, but had several burn marks on her little body :(. There was also a recent case in which a family was in their front yard with their puppy when a man and young girl walked up, took the puppy, and got in a white van and drove off. That puppy has yet to be found. We also had a case a few years ago when an elderly woman was walking her dog and someone came up, grabbed the leash, and took off with the dog. Because of all this, I don't leave my dog unsupervised in my car at all. I take her with me whenever I can, but I won't even run into the store if she can't come. My town is extremely dog friendly and dogs r welcomed on many patios, stores, and even some bars!! And if she can't come in with me, then I leave her at home! It only takes a split second for something to happen!


My biggest fear is that someone breaks into our yard to get to my fur babies. They are mid-sized breeds, not little; but one of them was already rescued from a dog fighting ring. I worry that some evil minded person has seen us walking, watched to see where we live and might want to snatch him for that purpose. Even worse, my female is NOT a bully breed at all and is 13.5 yrs old. If she wear stolen and used for bait...I shiver at the thought. Our back gate is locked and we never let them out in the yard unless we are home. No free-for-all dog doors.

Winifred Healey

I often see distressed dogs tied up outside a store and my heart goes out to these poor little sister told me one day that a person had left his dog outside the Post Office and when he came out found his Yorkshire Terrier had vanished. He was very, very upset! He never found his little Pooch...Heaven knows where it had disappeared to. Besides been stolen, these darling animals are left to suffer the eliments. I just wish people would try and understand the dangers and usless sufferings they impose on their pets. I have two dogs and two cats and only God in Heaven knows the terrible anguish i would suffer if i thought they were in harms reach and to be lost forever, under going abuse etc. PLEASE take good care of your pets, and love them with all your heart, because, no matter what, they love us unconditionally.!

Jean Clelland-Morin

Why are dogs stolen? Do thieves steal dogs adopted from shelters? Do they steal bling-bling toys manufactured by companion-animal factories? If we stop mindlessly proliferating the powerless and voiceless for our egoistic use and abuse, I bet the # of stolen dogs would go near zero. // Jean Clelland-Morin

Michelle Mifsud

That not right for people to steal pet

A Tucker



Beware, I will write your license plate # down & call the cops if you leave your animal in a car! DO NOT LEAVE YOUR ANIMAL IN YOUR CAR!!!

Barbara Holcomb

In June, I was leaving a grocery store and found 2 dogs left in car with windows down about 1 inch. It was 86 degrees. They were in distress. Found owners in store. Was polite and calm. They yelled at me. I went beside their car, called 911. Didn't touch anything or car. Owner came to car and started threatening me while I was giving police his plate number. Police told me to be quiet, not respond to him and walk away. I did. He followed a little way and kept shouting. Cops came about 1 min. after he left parking lot. They went looking for him. Days later was in local Humane Society. One of the dogs was there. Glad that I got involved but it could have turned out worse. Be Careful!


This article was not about the weather it is about dog napping.
Dog napping is on the rise and your dog can easily be taken from your car or your very own fenced yard. Your dog(s) could be held for a ransom, sold on Craigslist, sold to an experimental laboratory or used as a bait dog. Please do not leave your dog(s) unatteneded anywhere except inside your home.

Please read the tips in the above article to keep your pets safe from dog thives.

Thank you and have a good week.

crystal wood

Why would leaving the pets at home be safer than taking them with you in the car???? If some one wanted your dog bad enough they could break into your home to steal them. when I take my dogs with me in the car or on a trip I park where I can keep an eye on them and if a stranger come near them they put up such a ruckus that would get the attention anyone within a city block. Usally one of us stays in the car with them and they are never left alone for long and never when it is hot outside. I don't even go out when it is too hot.