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Dognapping On the Rise—Protect Your Pet

Thursday, August 2, 2012 - 11:15am
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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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gretchen small

Depends on how the dog feels about being in the car.....my dogs prefer to go to work with me.....they have water, partially opened windows and i can visit with them on my breaks (while my co-workers smoke a cigarette, i take "puppy piddle" breaks). with a new pup, this has greatly lessened the "separation anxiety" over the option of leaving her home alone for 9 hours. of course when the weather is warm, they stay home because the car gets hot even with the windows rolled partway down.....but where i live, the sun does not shine a whole lot....

Jan

Totally disagree. As soon as it's cold I take my dog everywhee. It's like a secondary crate. She curls up on by seat and waits until I return or she'll people watch. If I leave her at home she gets anxious because she doesn't know where I went. You have to know your dog well enough to make these decisions.

Lynne

People have had their cars stolen with dogs inside never to see their dog again or know what happened to them. Its a huge risk and putting your dog in danger leaving him an the car alone plus he could get teased or anything. Its not about knowing your dog its about not putting him in a position where he could come to harm. I dont suppose youd leave a vulnerable helpless baby alone in a car so why would you onsider leaving a vulnerable helpless dog? Dont put him at risk please..

Laura

My Aussie has a fit if I go in the car without her. For the last 15 years she has gone with me everywhere. Even in the summer I have taken her with me and left her locked in the car with the air conditioning running. I don't take her if I'm going to be in the store for more than 5 or 10 minutes though, or anywhere other than my local area. Even when she travels with me, I am nervous when I have to leave her in the hotel room.

Laura

My Aussie has a fit if I go in the car without her. For the last 15 years she has gone with me everywhere. Even in the summer I have taken her with me and left her locked in the car with the air conditioning running. I don't take her if I'm going to be in the store for more than 5 or 10 minutes though, or anywhere other than my local area. Even when she travels with me, I am nervous when I have to leave her in the hotel room.

Shayla

I know it's not completely safe to do this, but at times I find myself having to leave my pom in the car alone for a minute or two while I run in a gas station. I know its not good, but, If I run out of gas then he's stuck in the heat (that's worse). I can't leave him home alone because he hyperventilates (or reverse sneezes) a lot and needs to be watched. I drop him off at my mothers before I go to stores that I know I'll be in for a while, but he does spend a couple minutes in the car alone. It's not the best thing to do, but sometimes you just can't help it. I wish I could.

Fran

I agree, I used to years ago. Not only because of pet theft but because of heat exposure. Now, when I see animals in the car I leave a flyer on the car window and if hot out will stay in the parking lot until I see the owners return. If they don't return in 15 minutes, I call 911.

Erica

Fran, you rock. Not enough people out there are like that. I keep multiple copies of the flyer in my car for just the same reason. So does my mom. I can say thankfully I have not had to use any yet and hope I never have to. Thanks for helping out the animals.

Jo

Fran,
Thank you for leaving a flyer, waiting until the owners return and then calling 911 if they don't show up. Thank you for doing all these. Not enough people care for the dogs/pets left in the car. They think you are butting in their business but you are just looking out for the dog when their owners can't. I read it is not good to leave them in the car when it is 70-degrees F and warmer. More power to you and keep up the good job. :-)

Charli

Excellent advice regarding flyers and monitoring until owners return - I will also use these techniques whenever I come across similiar situations. I love the idea of not feeling helpless and knowing that a pet(s) will not suffer.

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