Protect Your Dog From Dog-Nappers
Yesterday I posted about the woman who refused to pay the reward she offered for the safe return of her daughter's chihuahua.
The missing dog was returned by two women after disappearing weeks earlier, they contacted the owner after seeing the online ad offering a reward. The owner would not pay the reward because she suspected they had stolen her dog, why she thought this was not made clear in the article.
This morning I came across an article in USA Today about dog-napping being on the rise. The American Kennel Club informally tracks incidents and has made the public aware of the growing number of cases in the last few years.
In 2008 there were 71 cases and this year more than 100 have been reported by the media. There are many reasons a dog may be stolen but the primary one is for money. Since thieves know dogs are considered family members they realize the value placed on them. They may be stolen to collect ransom, a reward, or possibly even to sell them for a few hundred dollars. Remember the recent incident in California where a dog was stolen from a car and the owner paid $10,ooo to get her back?
Here are some safety tips from Lisa Peterson (with Linx), she's the director of club communications for the American Kennel Club and a longtime breeder and show-dog handler.
- Don't leave your dog unattended in your yard.
- Be cautious with information.
- Never leave your dog in an unattended car, even if it's locked.
- Don't tie your dog outside a store.
- Protect your dog with microchip identification.
- If you suspect your dog has been stolen, call the police/animal control officer in the area your pet was last seen.
- Have fliers with a recent photo ready to go if your dog goes missing.
- Call the local TV station, radio station and newspaper and ask to have a Web post put out about your missing pet.
If you're looking to get a dog and aren't going to stop by your local shelter there's a few things to keep in mind. Be very careful of newspaper and internet ads, information can easily be falsified and is hard to verify. Also, watch out for an ad that mentions "relocation fees" or last minute shipping fees.
Don't buy dogs from roadside stands or flea markets, you have no way of verifying where the dog came from. If you decide to buy from a breeder check them out thoroughly, visit the kennel if possible.
Go to USA Today to read more important tips and information on protecting your dog from being a victim of dog-napping.