It's scary to think about dog theft, but it happens more often than people can imagine. A recent Washington Post article explains canine theft is on the rise. Dog thieves pray mostly on small expensive breeds.
“Small-breed, purebred dogs are most prone to dognapping because they are easier and more lucrative to resell,” said Dr. Zac Pilossoph, a consulting veterinarian at the nonprofit Healthy Paws Foundation. “In addition to breed predilection, thieves may also target dogs that are friendly and tame because they’re easier to snatch and people are more likely to repurchase a friendly dog.
The American Kennel Club recently released its annual ranking of the most popular breeds — and for would-be dognappers, it’s a hit list for purloined puppy profits.
Avoid the heartache of getting your dog stolen.
How to Avoid Dog Theft | Tips to Avoid Pet Theft
- Microchip your dog. More often than not we hear people saying that they haven't microchipped their dog. It's probably one of the most important things to do to up your chances to reuniting with your dog should he/she get lost. According to the Journal of American Veterinary Medical Association, 52 percent of dogs who are microchipped, versus just 22 percent of dogs who enter a shelter that are not microchipped, are returned to their owners.
- Keep collar with ID on your dog. Make sure that your dog is wearing a collar with an ID tag at all times, and constantly check it to ensure it is in good condition. Sometimes dogs are found roaming around their neighborhood without a collar or any form of identification making it hard for the good samaritans to reunite the dog with its owner and making it easy for the thieves to keep the dog.
- Walk your dog on a leash. No matter how well trained your dog is, it is important to walk your dog on a leash. Unexpected things can trigger your dog's curiosity, causing it to bolt away from you.
- Don’t leave your dog unattended outdoors. It is tempting to leave your dog tied to a pole outside of the grocery store. After all it will take 5 minutes, right? This makes it extra easy for anyone interested in your dog to snatch it from you.
- Be wary of strangers too interested in your dog. It is common for people to approach you to pet your dog or ask what breed it is. But trust your gut, if the person is too curious, or asks too many details about your dog, move away from that situation.
- Lock your gate. It is important to ensure that all gates in your home or where your dogs spends time are locked. Test locks to avoid the dog from opening them and for potential thieves to have access to your dog on the other side of the gate.
If you've lost your pet or found someone else, your first step should be to file a report, in person, at the Miami-Dade Animal Services Pet Adoption and Protection Center, which is open seven days a week.