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 really understand that sometimes people cannot afford dogs from rescue organizations but in our area most only cost around 150.00 and they are spayed or neutered with all shots. Acquiring all that would easily cost 150 or more. I don't mean to sound harsh or unfeeling but if someone cannot afford 150.00 how can they afford vet bills that might come up and yearly shots that are necessary for the dogs health. At our local pound the cost of dogs is only 20.00. But people should always remember the cost of being a responsible pet owner is not cheap. One small word about leaving pets in a car is when my husband and I take a vacation we always take our dog BUT we always, always park next to the building where we can visually see her, lock the car, and leave the car running so she has proper air conditioning.


So say you purchased your dog for $50.00 from the breeder. That is a lower fee ( price) than the shelters or rescues offer them. BUT....your dog will not come to you spayed/ neutered and all shots up to date, micro chipped etc.

Regardless of where the dog came from, how are you going to afford the normal maintenance for your dogs shots, grooming, spaying/ neutering, micro chipping, monthly heart worm meds and flea/tic protection and dentals down he road? Or if your dog gets sick, develops allergies and other medical attention that people do NOT plan for. If your dog is a puppy, that breeder and $6.00 of shots and wormer in it and will pocket the rest. Reputable rescues use the left over money of the adoption fees to treat heart worms, parvo, knee surgeries, eye removals, spaying/ neutering, bladder stones, dentals and MUCH more from neglected dogs and cats. It does not go into the pockets of the volunteers or staff.

Liza Butler

If you can't afford the $75-150 adoption fee, you shouldnt get a pet. It cost much more then that to care of (vet care, heartworm pills, flea, food, teeth cleaning)


Our kill shelter here in OKC is $25 nearly fully vetted. People here have NO excuse. I got some of the best pups from there. The one thing you don't get at that price is microchipping... But that fee makes that more possible. I have volunteered for years and a lot of dogs from those "breeders" get turned in. I do believe every animal needs a home, but throwing your money at these people just encourages them and sends more to the shelters. If you can get a puppy from a "breeder" for $50 then I'm just taking a shot... But I can't see them being reputable. You have to invest in them not just pop them out and market them. I agree with your thought on lifetime expenses.


I do not agree with this, most of the services you have mentioned are preventitive care like teeth cleaning. Of course, I can afford it and give the very best for my dog and love her like my own child. But you need to weigh the risks against killing a dog in a gas chamber. So are you saying killing a dog in a gas chamber is better than adopting the dog to a loving poor owner and letting the dog live its life with some risks involved ? Then in that case, all of us have to be put in gas chambers, since it is safer than living a life with all the diseaes, shooting, heart-breaks, etc,. ?


I adopted a dog who was an abuse/neglect case. The cost was $300. In addition to that cost I was upset by the fact they failed to tell me of some of her health problems that financially I wasn't prepared for. Chronic bloody diarrhea in the house (not her fault, I know) urinating inside, many times on our way out the door, I was told she was housebroken and she wasn't. She came with hookworm and contaminated my yard, and my vet told me they are impossible to get rid of. I'm thankful we don't have a pool because we wouldn't be able to walk outside barefoot...ever, they never go away. Be cautious as to who you adopt from. I don't regret it, I loved her to pieces, but I only had her for a year and a half and then she was diagnosed with aggressive bone cancer and I had to put her down. That's not the rescues fault, but I felt there was a lot they didn't tell me in order to find her a home. The whole experience leaves me nervous of rescuing again. After my experience, I have learned quite a bit and know exactly what I don't want in a rescue. And $300 for a dog that cost me almost $2,000 in vet bills in the year and a half that I had was a nightmare and wish they would have at least prepared me for it.I'm not mad though, the rescue meant well and regardless they are doing a wonderful thing, I just didn't like being kept in the dark about what I was getting into.


Saving a dog by adopting from a shelter is the most inexpensive way to go. I got my dog from the Flagstaff pound. It was $50 and that $50 was also a coupon to be used if I got her spayed. So in essence it would have cost nothing for the adoption, it was just transfering that $50 to a vet for fixing her.

If you find a Shelter charging more for a dog then a pet breeder I would be shocked. Never heard of it, never seen it. Also if a breeder is charging less, well, once again BUYING dogs is as criminal as BREEDING dogs. Sounds like another case of a breeder who is using some poor dogs as a way to make money by impregnating them over and over and over and supporting themselves this way. Not an OK place to get a dog from. You are supporting a corrupt system.

There is absolutely NO reason that buying from any breeder is ok, it cannot be justified at all.

If the shelter you went to is too expensive for you, talk to them, find another shelter (there are many), find one that will work with you to bring you the dog (there are all kinds of services for the disabled and people who care about animals are very likely to help you since you are disabled), there are even services that connect the disabled with a trained and good shelter dog.

I think your statements are naive, cruel, and possibly outright lying.

I have never heard of anyone complaining Shelter Dogs are Too Expensive.


If you cannot afford the fee for a rescue or shelter dog then you can't afford a dog. Dogs need more than just love or pats on the head to live. And their job is not just to provide you with love. They need food, water and veterinary care among other things. Shelters are FULL of dogs that are there because of financial reasons or because people "can't afford" them. Older dogs are abandoned because the veterinary bills are just "too expensive." The fees charged by shelter or rescue are simply going toward their vet costs (spay, chip, vaccines). So by saying that you cannot afford those services you indicate you cannot afford to care for a living, breathing being. Having an animal is a job and a privilege that is hard work and requires financial sacrifice. Much like having a child (also very expensive) animal guardianship requires resources.


I totally agree with Mia. The lady that wanted a dog but could not afford the adoption fee has to be realistic. You should get a dog/pet because you are able to provide him/her with a good home. a good home would mean heart worm prevention,flea prevention, shots, dental care, good nutrition,medical check-ups, toys, etc.. All of that can add up, (trust me). the shelters barely ask to recoup the cost of neutering/spaying,microchipping, vet care. If you can not provide a good home for a pet. don't be selfish, dont get one!! a lot of cities are looking for fosters, they provide food, & medical care,she should check into that option instead.


Lynn, I appreciate the fact that you are disabled and in financial distress. I have been there in the past, and don't care to revisit it ever again. But what I don't understand about your situation is this. If you are in dire straits and, as you put it, "well below poverty level", how do you then afford to not only purchase a dog, but also everything that goes along with responsible dog ownership - tags, microchip, screenings, vaccines, heartworm & flea/tick prevention meds, emergency care, annual exams, food, etc? If you are "poor", then how can you afford these necessities? The cost for any pet does not stop with its purchase fee and kibble. They need ongoing care and treatment to live healthy, happy lives.

The fact that you somehow can afford internet access is somewhat understandable, given that you are disabled. It's important to be connected to the outside world. But I have to wonder how your financial circumstances affect the welfare of your pet. I certainly thought everything through before adopting my dog, and did so only after I was well able to afford all that comes along with it. I have a savings account set aside for her in the event of an emergency and pay monthly premiums for her pet insurance. It was not until I knew that I could provide for every need, including the unforeseeable, that I applied for adoption.

I surely don't deny your need for the love and companionship of your dog. I just wonder if it was a wise decision under the circumstances.