Dog theft, also known as dog napping, can be distressing for both pets and parent. It is increasing in the US, UK, and other countries.
Some estimates suggest that dog thefts have increased by 250% since the COVID-19 pandemic began in early 2020. This post will show you how to prevent dog theft.
Are you a target for dog napping? You can learn important safety tips to help protect your dog against pet kidnapping.
Your world may be in your four-pawed hands and curious nose, however, Let’s now talk about dog theft.
We will discuss recent dog napping cases, how to prevent dog napping, and what to do if your dog is stolen.
What is Dognapping?
Dog theft is known as dog napping. You can also describe it by its synonyms, dog flipping or pet kidnapping.
Sometimes houses are broken into to steal a dog.
In other cases, armed robbers will attack dog owners and take the pet.
Dog thieves can even devise elaborate schemes to steal your dog, such as a group of women pretending to be part of the Animal Cruelty Task Force.
Dog thieves may resort to violence or use intimidation or distraction tactics.
Dog thieves can take more than the dog’s value. They can also steal a part of your family and heart.
Is Dognapping a Federal Offense?
The UK’s lawmakers acknowledged the rise of dog napping and the importance to animal welfare in 2021 with new laws criminalizing pet abduction.
The Pet Theft Taskforce recommended the changes in a report. This report highlights the importance of pets like dogs and the emotional distress that pet owners experience when their furry friend is stolen.
The Michigan State University College of Law review found that Mississippi, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and New York have the strongest laws against dog theft.
A good number of states in the US have laws that deal with dog theft. The penalties are usually in the misdemeanor section and have very few fines or jail time.
While kidnapping is a crime, it’s not a crime to steal a pet. Pet theft is not a crime in most states. These states treat pets as personal property.
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What Kind of Dogs is Being Stolen?
Dognappers could make quick money by selling these popular, expensive breeds. Pit bulls, which you can use as fighting dogs, are the exception to this list. Dognapping can happen to any dog, but purebred and pedigreed dogs are the most common targets. Here’s a list of the most stolen dog breeds.
- Yorkshire Terrier
- Staffordshire bull terrier
- Boston Terrier
- French Bulldog
- American Pit Bull Terrier
- Jack Russell Terrier
It is easier to steal small dogs than large ones. They can quickly grab them, hide them in a bag or box, and then take them away. Although large dogs can be more challenging to capture due to their size and strength, it is worth it for the dognapper to make a profit.
Chow Chows and Rottweiler are also popular dog breeds that can be dog napped. They are often highly sought after.
What Does a Dognapper do with Dogs?
Petnappers are aware that dogs are loved family members by pet owners, and so they exploit that vulnerability.
The thieves might steal a dog, then return it to their owner and claim the compensation.
Dog thieves may use other methods than theft to get a dog. A “found pet” notice may be placed by an animal lover who sees a dog in their area.
Dognappers pose as the owner of the dog and then pick it up from the neighbor. Then they sell the dog.
Dognappers may adopt pets from shelters with the intent of making a profit.
Dog thieves can make a lot of money. Some dog breeds are worth thousands of dollars.
There seems to be an increase in occupational dog thieves – people who steal dogs for their living.
Dogs are rarely stolen to be kept as pets. Dogs are sometimes taken to be “flipped,” which means that the dognapper will sell the dog as soon as it’s stolen.
You can find dogs for sale all over the internet. It’s impossible to know if a dog for sale is not a stolen pet.
Experts say that scammers are using online ads to “re-home” dogs.
Is Dognapping a Common Practice?
Dognapping is a problem that’s more common than you may think. In the United States, nearly two million dogs are robbed each year. Unfortunately, only 10% of stolen dogs are reunited with their owners.
Thousands of people bought a dog to be their furry friend during the Corona virus pandemic. There was a massive demand for adorable puppies, and there was a large market for stolen dogs.
According to police reports, the rate of dog napping in these areas has increased by as much as three times since pre-pandemic levels.
Dognapping has been reported in both the United Kingdom and the United States. Dog theft is most common in rural areas in the UK.
Do you see more stories about dog napping in the news? Experts believe that dog napping is on the rise because of the media attention it receives.
How to Protect Your Dog from Dognappers
There are simple ways to protect your dog against theft. It is better to spend some time planning for this possibility than to suffer the pain of losing your beloved pet to dog napping.
- Install a doggie camera.
Be careful before you post photos of your dog to social media. Dog thieves could be attracted to photos of your dog and information about where you spend your time. Police have advised against posting your location on social media.
You can monitor the activity of your pet 24/7 by installing security cameras in your home. While you are away, your furry friend will always be there to keep you informed.
- Ensure proper training
Learn the basics of leash training your dog if you don’t have it. You must train your dog.
- Neuter your dog
You should always try to spend time outdoors with your dog companion or at least check in on them frequently. Play with your dog, or let them follow you around your garden as you tend the plants. You shouldn’t leave a dog alone in the yard if you aren’t home. Your dog may become bored if left alone for too long.
Dog owners in some areas of the US and UK often tie their dogs to a shop front while shopping inside. Your dog is a target for dog nappers, even if they’re a friendly pet. You may leave your dog at home if you are unable to bring them into the store.
You should not leave your dog in your car while you run errands. A thief can easily smash your car’s window and grab your dog in a matter of seconds.
Don’t allow strangers into your yard. To prevent unwelcome entry, make sure your gates are securely closed.
- Make sure your ID tags are up-to-date.
You should update your dog’s ID tag immediately if you move or change your phone number. These tags will be an essential clue if a private citizen finds your dog.
- You can attach a GPS tracker to your dog’s collar.
A GPS Dog Tracker allows you to track your dog’s movements and locate them if necessary. The GPS tracker must be attached to your dog’s collar so that you can view a map of the location and track your pet in real-time.
A GPS tracker provides peace of mind for pet parents.
- Be careful when choosing dog-sitters or dog-walkers.
Although it is an excellent way for you to exercise your dog in public, letting your pet run loose in public places can pose a danger to your dog, other pets, and other people.
To avoid your dog running off into the arms or hands of someone else, keep your dog on a leash while you walk them. Only allow your dog to run free in a fenced yard or your backyard.
You can rely on someone else to care for your dog while you are away. Always check references and only use a reputable dog walking service. To find reliable services, ask your neighbors and friends.
- Get your dog micro chipped.
It is essential to keep your microchip registry information current. You should update the microchip registry if you change or move your phone number so that your pup and you can reunite immediately.
Experts agree that micro chipping your dog is the best way for you to reunite with your dog after they have been lost or stolen. A microchip can be placed under the skin of your dog by your veterinarian, animal shelter, or animal adoption agency. It is about the same size as a grain rice kernel.
Warning: A microchip is not the same as a GPS tracker. It won’t let you follow your dog’s movements in real-time.
If your dog is stolen and resold, you can take the puppy to the vet for a check-up. The vet can use the scanner to locate your microchip and tie it back to you.
- Ownership proof
Do you have proof that you are the owner of your dog? You should be able to locate your adoption papers, evidence that you purchased the dog from a breeder, receipts for pet food and supplies, and proof of purchase. To help spread the word about your pet missing, make sure you have recent photos.
- Keep informed
Keep up-to-date with news and events relating to dog napping in the area. Dognapping cases can be reported anywhere. Know where your dog is.
What Should You Do if Your Pet is Lost?
Follow these steps if your dog is lost or you suspect that they are stolen.
- Reach out to local shelters.
Contact your local animal shelters to report your dog missing. If you feel comfortable, you can share your information on social media sites or websites that feature stolen or lost animals. That will help spread awareness about the situation.
- Report a dog napping immediately to the police
If your dog is stolen, you can contact the police to report it. Please give as much information as you can. Include a photograph and any markings that can help you identify your dog.
- Contact the microchip database
Inform the microchip registry that your dog was stolen. Ensure that you have your correct contact information with the microchip company. You want to reach your dog immediately if it is found.
- Take a look at your neighborhood and home.
Is your vehicle or house being broken into? Is your yard open? Is your dog’s collar lying on the sidewalk? These could be signs that your dog was forcibly removed from your property.
Most missing dogs aren’t stolen. They are most likely to have run away or escaped from the backyard. Ensure you do a thorough inspection of your home. Now is the right time to make sure your dog knows when to come.
- Distribute flyers.
You can post flyers with a recent photograph of your dog if it is allowed in your area. If possible, include the date your dog disappeared.
It’s not likely you’ll be a victim of dog theft if you live at home with your dog. Dog thieves often have little to lose, as the penalties for stealing dogs are usually minimal.
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“May Your Home Be Filled With Love And Dog Hair”
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