As a canine dad or mum, one among my worst nightmares is dognapping. As a outcome, I’m fairly obsessive in regards to the security of my very own canine, and I at all times fear about canine theft after I see canine tied to bike racks and lampposts exterior of espresso outlets, grocery shops and different spots round New York City.
So, what’s dognapping? Why does it occur and are sure breeds or forms of canine focused? How do you forestall it within the first place? What do you do if it occurs to you?
Dognapping — the stats
An estimated two million pets are stolen yearly within the United States. The American Kennel Club, which tracks cases of canine theft from their National Pet Theft Database, discovered a 31% enhance in dognappings in recent times, with newly stolen canine reported every day from communities throughout the nation.
Why do dognappings occur?
Dognappings occur for a lot of causes and canine might change fingers a number of instances after being stolen, which makes them even tougher to find. Thieves usually steal canine hoping to earn a living off of them. This may be somebody trying to gather a reward, or one thing much more sinister.
Intact canine (canines that aren’t spayed or neutered) could also be offered to pet mills or yard breeders, small canine or canine of standard, costly breeds may be taken and resold, or canine could also be offered to canine preventing rings both as fighters or bait canine.
According to Pet FBI, a few of the prime small canine focused for money embrace purebred Yorkshire Terriers, Pomeranians, Maltese and Chihuahuas, whereas Pit Bulls, Boston Terriers, German Shepherd Dogs and Boxers fall sufferer to theft for dogfighting rings. In NYC, there was an increase of dognappings of small canine in return for money.
How do you retain your canine secure from dognappers?
1. Never depart your canine unattended in public locations or in your yard
Unattended canine are simple targets for dognappers. If you might be working errands that aren’t canine pleasant, depart your canine at residence.
2. Be proactive about dognapping
Hopefully your canine by no means goes lacking, however you’ll must show he belongs to you if he does. Microchip your canine, and be sure that your contact data is updated together with your microchip firm. Thieves might take away a collar and tags, however microchips are everlasting types of identification in your canine. Some canine guardians even use the superior expertise of Dog DNA assessments to show the id of their canine.
3. Hire professionals in terms of pet-care suppliers
In current years, there have been a number of high-profile circumstances of canine going lacking whereas within the care of canine sitters — and by no means being seen once more. Only rent accountable, insured and trusted pet-care suppliers and at all times examine references earlier than hiring a walker, daycare or sitter.
4. Use warning with overly curious strangers
Be very guarded together with your canine’s data. Sometimes, dognappers will attempt to decide how a lot a canine is value, and in the event that they’re spayed or neutered earlier than taking them. Deflect detailed questions from strangers — significantly about how a lot your canine price.
What to do if somebody steals your canine:
1. Get assist
Immediately name the police and your native animal management division. File a police report.
2. Talk to everybody
Try to seek out any witnesses who may need seen the dognapping happen. This will make it easier to and the police get details about who has or had your canine. Distribute present, clear images of your canine instantly.
3. Research and use each obtainable useful resource
Search out native misplaced and located teams on-line and on Facebook.
Other useful websites embrace:
4. Contact the media
Social media websites like Facebook are instrumental in spreading the phrase about misplaced or stolen canine. Don’t overlook to contact your native media — newspapers, TV and radio — to attempt to enhance protection of your canine’s disappearance.
5. Protect your self, too
People whose canine are lacking are susceptible to being taken benefit of even additional. I can’t even think about how determined I’d be if one thing occurred to one among my canine — I’d wish to do every thing and something in my energy to get them again.
The Better Business Bureau warns pet homeowners to be careful for rip-off artists who demand reward cash earlier than they return the lacking canine.
For instance, somebody calling to say they’re a long-haul truck driver who discovered your canine out of state and requesting cash to get your canine again to your state, or somebody saying they want cash for airline tickets and a crate to ship your misplaced canine again.
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Sassafras Lowrey is an award-winning creator. Her novels have been honored by organizations starting from the Lambda Literary Foundation to the American Library Association. Sassafras is a Certified Trick Dog Trainer, and assists with canine agility courses. Sassafras lives and writes in Brooklyn together with her accomplice, a senior Chihuahua combine, a rescued Shepherd combine and a Newfoundland pet, together with two bossy cats and a semi-feral kitten. Learn extra at sassafraslowrey.com.