Everyday Adventures in Havachon Heaven

The Good, Crazy, & Adorable Life of One Havachon Puppy

The Alarming Increase of Dognapping – Who’s at Risk?

on October 5, 2010

Well, every dog is at risk, but pure breeds are even more likely to be dognapped than mutts. Among the top-most kidnapped dogs are expensive, smaller dogs like Yorkies, Pomeranians, and even Beagles. Search the web and you’ll find article after article about dognapping cases and the ploys that perpetrators used to steal them away from their loving owners.

Why are dognappings increasing every year? So far, 2010 has by far the highest number of dognappings, and the year isn’t even over yet. Some of the reasons given include:

  • People wanting dogs they can’t afford, either for themselves or to give as gifts.
  • People who sell dogs to dog fighting rings (small dogs as practice animals, large dogs as sparring partners or new trainees).
  • People who want to make money selling an expensive pure breed dog.
  • People who are just plain cruel.

Think your dog is protected just because someone is holding it? Think again. A newspaper report from 2009 told of a young puppy being stolen right out of the arms of a 5 year old girl who was sitting in a public park with her mother not too far away. Thankfully, the authorities were notified immediately and the dog was found shortly thereafter, being raised by another family nearby.

The AKC (American Kennel Club) gives some good tips on their website about how to keep your dog safe:

  • Never leave your dog tied alone outside a restaurant or store while you go in to eat or shop.
  • Never leave your dog alone in a parked car (this is a no-no for many reasons).
  • Don’t answer too many questions from admirers about your dog, especially if they ask where you got him or how much he cost. Dognappers target more expensive dogs, so mentioning the boutique where you got him would be a dead giveaway as to how much he cost.
  • Stay alert to anyone following you home, either on foot or in the car. Serious dognappers break into homes just to steal expensive dogs.
  • Don’t leave your dog unattended in your yard, especially if your yard is visible from the street.

Looking at this from the innocent dog buyer’s perspective, how can you avoid buying stolen dogs? The AKC recommends:

  • Don’t buy puppies or dogs from a newspaper ad, flea market, roadside, or website. Anyone can run a newspaper ad, and editors can’t check the legitimacy of every ad, so unless you know the person, this seller could be making money selling stolen dogs.
  • Make sure the seller has authentic AKC documentation (litter registration number) on a pure breed

    Microchip size comparison to rice grain

    dog. “Authentic” is the keyword here – anything can be faked. Double-check authentication by calling AKC Customer Service at 919–233–9767 .

  • Buy from rescue shelters or screen the private breeder, visiting their home and asking lots of questions. You wouldn’t buy an expensive diamond from a stranger without asking lots of questions and double-checking the seller’s quality claims, so use the same principles with a private dog seller.

What can you do if your dog is stolen?

  • Call the police or animal control department immediately and file a police report. That’s what led to the recovery of the puppy stolen from that 5 year old girl mentioned above.
  • Put up fliers with your dog’s picture on it and spread the word around the neighborhood and neighboring areas.
  • Know your dog’s microchip number in case you get a call from a veterinarian or police.

You can find more information and links at http://www.akc.org. At their website, you can also find out how you can help pass important legislation on topics like dognapping, stopping animal abuse/cruelty, and much more. You don’t have to have a pure breed dog to get valuable information from this site and make a difference in keeping our pets safe!

Another great website with lots of detailed information on what to do if your dog is stolen is http://www.doggiemanners.com/art_finding_stolen_dogs.html. The article was written by a dog trainer after one of her client’s dogs was stolen; fortunately the dog was found a year later because of his microchip. The author gives excellent information on how to prepare in advance so you’ll be ready to act during that emotionally difficult time – don’t forget, time is of the essence when a dog is stolen. The article’s author says she put in over 100 hours of research and interviews in order to compile this important information – bookmark it on your computer just in case you ever need it.

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One response to “The Alarming Increase of Dognapping – Who’s at Risk?

  1. tiffy40 says:

    Wow! That’s some scary stuff! I didn’t realize there was such a recent increase in these incidents. Thanks for the great information on keeping our pets safe!

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