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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Anonymous due t...

Yes well, bring pet along everywhere buy a stroller if they can't keep up with you at the mall, use the drive through window for takeout food, potty for yourself is harder but doable; never assume that because the damn vehicle is locked they can't get in, they sure can and housing too any type lock. Your pet is almost irreplaceable; not only for the memories you guys share but also the age/time frame obtained, your lifestyle over the years and the breed, sex, availability, cost......I could go on but you would not want to read it. Good luck to all of you 'cause microchipping helps but is only a deterrant to a determined thief. My pet got surgically hurt at least three times by what I think was at least a grad student who practised a lot and she is no longer with me...she also had a possible vandalism problem from before it. Last summer and fall were the only times past sale of my home sixteen years ago that both of us were reasonably healthy without too much problem. I want revenge and I hope I get my chance. I got whatever is the last of my life to "do unto others what you would have them do unto you".


Many years ago, my Mother-in-law left her Jack Russell terrier in the car while she went into a grocery store. He loved, absolutely loved going for rides. She wasn't in there very long, but someone stole him from the car. He wasn't fond of strangers either but they still took him. She was heartbroken and I don't believe she ever forgave herself.
All someone has to do is get access, throw a blanket over your dog and your baby is gone. Animal labs buy dogs and cats all the time. They, in practice, don't check on whether they have owners or are microchipped. I know someone who worked cleaning labs. The worse the economy, the more pet stealing happens. We all know how fast a child can be taken. Same with pets. I wish you all well.


As much as my dog likes to go for car rides and gets excited I dont take her many places with me where she has to be in the care for a while unless its to go to the vet or the dog park because she gets car sick. :/ So I think Im good and wont have my baby stolen. :)


This is so sad my dog loves rides but I will never leave him in the car but I will take him for rides to pet friendly places like PETCO!


I have no idea why some idiotic individual would try to steal anyone's pet! They are probably just trying to get some extra cash for drugs or something stupid like that...what has our world come to? :o(

Carol Voss

We have coyotes in my county, which is only semi-rural. I've heard them "sing" in my third-ring suburban development, and actually have rather liked the evening chorus. But early one morning, the milkman (yes, we still have one here in dairy country!) left my order in the milk box outside, and my little beagle woofed softly to alert me of his presence. I drowsed off again. A few minutes later, my dog was raising holy hell with the famous beagle tally-ho baying. Talk about a rude awakening!

I looked outside to see a coyote in the driveway! He had knocked over the milk box, somehow managed to break a milk bottle, and was vigorously lapping up the spilled milk off the concrete! Banging together a frying pan and its lid chased the coyote off, but I was later told that we also have coy-dogs, hybrids, who are nowheres near as shy of humans. And I was informed that both types of animals wouldn't think twice about carrying off even a medium sized dog, even if it meant a fight.

Two-legged thieves aren't the only ones to worry about. After that experience, my dog goes out, either with me, or supervised from the patio door, or he doesn't go out. And when I take him on a joy-ride, the only errands I run are accomplished via drive-through windows. He particularly likes the bank, because the tellers always send him dog biscuits in the pneumatic tube carrier. Matter of fact, when he spots the bank as we're driving through, he whines and then tally-hos!


Its hard to believe that people would actually take someones pet right from there car....but my dog loves to go bye bye if I'm running a quick erron before doing something fun with my furbaby I make a educated guess take a spare key roll windows down leave water in the car for her and lock the door. I'm never gone for more than a few mins ever... if its really hot outside and I have to run in I leave the car on with the air/heat full blast and lock the door. She is trained and never leaves the back seat so no chance of her bumping the car into neutral(parking break on just in case). Her health means more to me than a buck in gas to keep it running and its not hard to keep a spare spare key on you....I think that a well educated decision needs to be made by the owner of the dog. I have called 911 for pets in distress stayed with the car and reamed a new a hole to the people when they came back out. I also would bust a window if need be.... education is key and harsh words make it harder for people to take any advice however good it is because it makes the person sound like a complete idiot.


There are SO many dognappings happening right now in my area. Guys, we need to form like some sort of neighborhood watch or something about it. Is there some sort of training we can go through to help us stop thieves if we see them? Maybe with Krav Maga or something?


: ) My dog wouldn't let anyone get in the car. Or near the house.

Mel Parker

Our blue heeler was almost stolen in Pomona, CA at the RV show while he was in the back of the pickup truck.