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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I agree!!!


I totally agree with the person who said NEVER, EVER leave your dogs in the car, regardless the weather. I have to call Animal Control here in Lincoln, Ne. at least once or twice every summer on owners who insist on leaving their poor pets in the car while they just run into the store for "5" minutes ( I've stood waiting 15 minutes for them to return, or for Animal Contraol to arrive first). Leave your pets at home where they are MOST COMFORTABLE..............:)

jennifer hoag

I witnessed a dog in a car with all the windows up at a store. I went inside to find the owner. She had a cartful and said it was hers and she was fine. She said she was in there a short time...It was hot with the windows open the dog was not panting that is not a good sign. It was an elderly lady who told me she didnt need me to tell her how to treat her dog and I told her I felt sorry for her dog. I didnot know what to do besides try to educate her and flopped. People want to take them everywhere and it makes me crazy. They are happier at home and safer by far.


Thank you for the great information. Love my Baby to death and would never want her to be dog napped.


Taking a dog left tied up outside a car is not dog-napping. It's a rescue.

Stacy Hallman

If you find yourself looking at a dog locked in a vehicle, assess the situation. If it is hot and windows are up or cracked half way down call the police and file a report. Then sign an arrest warrent at the police station. That way the owner will be held responsible for their actions and you are in the clear because you did the right thing. I did it to an owner who left her dog in the car on an extrememly hot day. Signed the arrest warrant. Now it is up to the courts to punish her.


Thank You Kasey, I know people mean well, but you cannot assume you know what is going on in these situations!! If you feel off about the situation call 911, don't take some ones dog and try to be a hero!!!


Actually in certain situations you can take the law into your own hands. Ever hear of "civil arrest"? A civilian can arrest someone, but certain situations apply


Leaving a dog in a car in Arizona might not be the best, but it is incredibly ignorant and narrowminded to assume that the climate in Arizona is the same as everywhere. Get a clue and use common sense - if it is hot outside and the dog looks uncomfortable, call the cops. But don't just assume that you are an animal rights crusader and go after everyone who leaves their dog in their car. That is ridiculous - don't you have other things to do? Like maybe spending time with your OWN dog? What is your dog doing when you are running around putting flyers on peoples cars? Sounds like borderline psychotic, controlling behavior to me. I've had multiple dogs in my life, used my judgment and COMMON SENSE to decide whether it was too hot to leave them in the car, erred on the side of caution, and have NEVER had a sick or unhappy dog.


I do believe Kacey has a very good point. However, when calling the authorities, I would wonder how quickly they would or could respond due an array of variables such as staffing, location of distressed animal & jurisdiction, priority of situation compared to another. Those things are taken into consideration and there is the possibility of the obvious good samaritan who wants to help and does all the right things but they don't have all the right information. So if I see a tied up animal in a hot sun suffering I would do my best to not be considered a "thief" but I would do whatever was necessary to keep that animal from suffering anymore.:)