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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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.:)


If I felt the dog was in immediate danger, I wouldn't hesitate to get the dog out of the car or to untie him. I would also contact the authorities and the Humane Society, Animal Control, whoever it took to make sure the dog was safe and the owner was confronted about not taking proper care of the animal. I don't care if the owner feel I'm being judgemental or not minding my own business. My concern is for the health, well-being, and life of an innocent animal who cannot help itself in a dangerous situation. These animals depend on their owners to take care of them, protect them, love them, and have their best interests at heart. Like to say I'm sorry if this makes the guilty parties angry, but again, my concern is for these innocent, helpless babies, not the owners.


Good advice-- cooler heads prevail! If you see a dog or any other animal in danger, whether tied, enclosed or abused-- call the police. I live near the beach and many people enjoy the cool breezes and decide to stroll the beach-- BUT leave Fido in the HOT car!! Creeps, I know! Well, the police respond in just minutes and they OPEN that car, retrieve the pet and find the owner, with a citation, sometimes MORE. To avoid making a mark as an hysteric (which is what PETA gets labeled often for crazy antics outside the law) we have to be responsible enough to do the right thing-- so we can further the cause of animal rights...not DETER supporters because "we" look like "nutcases." However...IF there's NO police what you have to and trust the judicial system to support "the right thing."


I own and operate a non-profit dog rescue in TN and our adoption fee is $75.00 which helps off-set the cost of the dog's spay/neuter surgery. We are not permitted, by law, to adopt out an "intact" dog so every dog is required to be sterilized and up-to-date on their shots. This is expensive (85 for females and 65 for males) Since rescues don't usually receive any financial support except the adoption fee, we really have no choice but to charge a fee in order to continue to rescue dogs in need. If you can't afford a nominal fee, how will you affort vet annual vet fees, the food, toys, ect. required to care for a dog. Just asking?


I agree my mom is wanting to rescue an older dog they had her fill out a 4 pagr application...a HOMR ONSPECTION AND FOR OLD DOGS $150 PUPPIES ANC DOGS $300 IM SORRY THATS F-ING RIDDICULOUS...screw that i wouldnt do it just for the sheer time required and the personal invasion....its sad dogs loose out on GREAT HOMES and Great moms and dads because rescues are OVER CAUTIOUS and over protective... Not everyone is willing to jump through that many hoops for a pet...and just because some of you EXTREME ACTIVISTS WOULD doesn't mean we ill should...NOR DOES IT MAKE US UNFIT PARENTS OR UNFIT HOMES....BOTH MY GIRLS ARE RESCUES I REFUSED TO PAY A DIME FOR EITHER...WHEN THEY SAT LONG ENOUGH...I GOT THEM i am the most loving spoiling dad ever they have health insurance they get excellent medical care and more birthday and Christmas gifts than some children...but i REFUSED TO BE JUDGED AND INSPECTED BY SOME ANIMAL FREAK AT A SHELTER NOR PAY FOR A HOMELESS DOG SORRY PEOPLE ITS S RESCUES...YOUR COMMITMENT TO LIFE LONG CARE ID ENOUGH FINANCIAL COMMITMENT


All a dog needs is 2 meals a day and lot of love. It is like forcing poor people not to have kids because they cannot buy them toys and offer them comfy beds to sleep on. Poor people can love and take care of their dogs just as much. Shelters should offer basic vaccination and basic heatlh care free for low income groups. Ask the dog, and it will tell you it prefers to have a poor owner then beiing killed in a gas chamber.


While I agree with your statement that a dog needs two meals a day and love, I disagree that they will live a long HEALTHY life on just these two items alone. What about exercise, mental and physical stimulation provided by a variety of toys (buy these according to budget), and the biggest expense, vet care? If I were poor, I wouldn't have my dogs without knowing that I could afford their monthly heartworm preventive, frontline to insure they aren't flea ridden, or better yet the expensive X-rays, ultrasounds, and meds that I NEEDED to pay to find out one of my pups has chronic kidney failure. The dogs in our shelters in my area wind up in a cage because the owners didn't exercise them enough, therefore the dog misbehaved simply because he wasn't entertained enough or because they couldn't afford vet care. While I believe your point is valid, I just wanted to point it out that it takes much more than love and food.

Ken Adlam

partially agree with your anger at some of the rescue groups...I think some are on a power trip. Have had 7 dogs in my life, all rescues and mixed breeds. After the passing of 2 hounds at ages 15 and 17, I decided to get a senior rescue as most folks want a pup. After one of those 4-page applications, I got rejected because they didn't like that one of my references was a relative. Which leads me to wonder whether these folks really care that much about the dogs they claim to be saving. Finally I contacted Philadelphia PAWS who had a 10 y.o. beagle/hound mix who had been abandoned...they brought the ole gal out to the house to see the environment and talk to me...for a "donation" of $75, I now have one of the sweetest, friendliest dogs ever. Moral: There are some really good rescue groups out there for pets fortunate enough to be put in their care!


Yeah, the home inspections are too invasive and I have spoken to shelters who charge $600!!! The point of the fee is to 1. recoup some of the costs that have been spent on the animal, and 2. to make sure the person is serious about purchasing. Some of these rescues have truly been through hell, and they just want to make sure the dog will not suffer any more. I think they are going about it all the wrong way though. They are preventing more healthy adoptions than they are making. I honestly can't see how that's helping the animals.