Don't Let Them Take Me
February 14th isn’t just Valentine's Day. It is also National Dog Theft Awareness Day. Dog theft awareness day is 34 years old and in that time many things have changed. One of the biggest changes is the explosion of social media and the dark web. You can’t steal a dog online, but theft rings can gather information and organize online.
It is hard for animal lovers to understand why anyone would steal their dog, but there are quite a few reasons why your dog might be a target.
If your dog is a pure bred in high demand like a Labradoodle, he may be at high risk of being a target for resale, ransom, or breeding.
If your dog is little, she could be the target for dog fighting rings, or she could be in the high demand category.
If your dog is famous, he could be targeted for kidnaping and ransom.
Any dog could be targeted for illegal sale to research labs.
If you are abusing your dog, she may be stolen to save her life. Although it is a noble reason it is still illegal.
Your dog does not have to be a pure bred to be a target.
What can you do to keep your dos safe? There are a number of things.
Always have your dog on a leash when you are out in public or away from your property. Just like you would watch you children when they play outside make sure you know where your dog is at all times, even if she is in a fenced yard.
Don’t broadcast how much your dog cost.
Don’t leave your dog out in the yard when you are not home. If that is not possible, think about installing a camera that will alert you if a stranger enters the yard.
Make sure you are paying attention to your surrounding when you are walking your dog or at the dog park.
Never leave your dog alone in your car.
If you decide to show off your dog on social media, make sure you don’t give too much information about your location or your schedule.
Don’t assume that someone at the dog park thinks the way you do. They may be using a dog to get another one. And, if someone comes to a dog park without a dog, that should be a big red flag.
Get your dog chipped. AKC Reunite only cost $46.00 for the life of your dog. The chip registration is transferable too.
Get your males neutered as soon as they are old enough. Appropriate age varies by breed.
Keep up to date pictures with views of any distinguishing marks.
There are lots of things you can do to keep your dog safe from thieves. Dog theft is mostly a crime of opportunity, and very akin to human trafficking. Stay alert, keep your dog with you in public, and let her live inside. If your dog is your fur kid, treat her as you would a human child. Know where she is at all times.