February 14th is Pet Theft Awareness Day. It is estimated that more than 2,000,000 (yup…2 MILLION) pets are stolen each year from their families. There are some easy things you can do to help protect your pets from potential theft.
Why Are Pets Stolen?
Have you heard of flipping a house? Get it cheap, fix it up, sell for a profit? It’s the same idea with dogs. Get it cheap (stealing), skip the ‘fix it up’ piece, then sell for a profit. Any pet can be stolen and flipped, but small, purebred animals are the most common.
Top 10 Dog Breeds Likely to Be Stolen
Change up your walking routine - walking in the same place at the same time creates a pattern that thieves can take advantage of.
Never leave your dog in your car or outside a storefront. A dog thief will not have a problem smashing your window to get your pup. Leaving a pet unattended for even a few minutes at a storefront makes your pup an easy target.
If your fenced-in yard is visible from the street, be sure to keep a close eye on your pup.
Other Helpful Tips
Microchip your pet (dogs & cats) - While this won’t protect your pet from being stolen, it can help you get them back. It’s a standard procedure that a vet will scan a newly adopted dog or cat for a chip. This has led to some stolen pets being reunited with their families.
Pictures! Take a lot of pictures of your pet, especially any identifying marks they may have. These pictures can serve as proof of identification.
What To Do If Your Dog is Missing or Stolen
Immediately contact the microchip service that you use. If you believe your dog is stolen, contact the police also.
Register your animal on all local Lost Pet or Stolen Pet databases.
Contact your local animal shelters and veterinarian offices.
Post to your local Lost Pet sites on Facebook.
Post on Nextdoor.
Distribute and hang fliers.
Check Craigslist often. It’s possible you may see your pets listed as FOUND, or even for SALE.