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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taylor rosenberg

I live in Paradise Valley, Az. and we never, ever leave our pets
in the car. We have winter visitors who think since it's not summer it's OK to leave pets in the car. WRONG! Even if it's not 100+ a car becomes an oven in a very short time.
Our average temperatures in the winter can go into the 80's and we're always seeing dogs left in a car. I make it a point to leave a note (if it's not too hot). I haven't had to call the police yet, but if it's ever above 70 and there's a dog in a car, I will definetely call the authorities.

Lynne Thrower

I totally agree that animals should not be left in cars and also outside shops. Its not safe they could get taken. And even if they dont other things happen. I stood and watched a dog tied up outside a shop once and saw him being teased by youngsters, a woman trod on his paw and he got accidentally knocked in his face with a shopping bag. It was surprising just how much happened to him whilst he was left there. Obviously we are unaware what happens when we leave them alone so I waited and told her about it. Hopefully she wont do it again. I stopped them from teasing him by the way.


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