Five Things You Can Do Today to Prevent Pet Theft

Pet theft is a phenomenon that is on the rise, but can be prevented.  By exercising the same type of caution you would use when protecting your children, vehicle or home, you can prevent your pet from disappearing.  In 2013, pet theft was on the rise yet again compared to the previous year, which is very alarming.  Protect yourself and your pet from being pet-napped.

Simple and Effective Tips for You to Follow

Keeping your pets safe from household dangers is important but keeping them from being stolen is equally important.  The American Kennel Club reports the following five breeds as being the most targeted by thieves in 2013: Yorkies, Chihuahuas, Poms, Labs and Frenchies.  You should also be aware that there are people who scour classified ads searching for free dogs with the intention of selling them for research or using them for fighting.  If you have puppies to give away, make sure to screen the people you give them to.

Here are five things you can do right away to protect your pets from thieves:

  • Spay and Neuter Your Pets – One thing that thieves look for are pets they can grab and breed.  If you have a cat or dog that looks like it was an expensive or rare breed, thieves will try to steal them for breeding and make dirty money off the litters. 
  • Keep Your Pets Behind Closed Doors – Doggie doors are nice but this makes it easier for someone to steal your pet.  How?  A doggie door allows the dog or even cat to come in and out as they please which means you won’t see them at all times throughout the day.  That means that, if you think they went outdoors, they could have actually BEEN outside, but quickly stolen while unsupervised outdoors, Watch when your dog or cat goes out and be sure to keep a roving eye on them.  It’s quite simple for strangers to jump fences, unlock doors or in some other way rapidly grab a pet, throw it into a van and take off.
  • Get Identification for Your Pets – Tags, microchips, and any form of identification that you can get for your pet is critical.  If you bought the dog, keep the bill of sale, any vet bills, grooming bills or anything that can prove you are the owner.  If your cat or dog does get stolen and turns up in a pound, shelter or vet’s office, you will have the paperwork and proof to show that you are their owner.  Sometimes, pets are taken by former roommates or partners, and this can involve the police.  If you keep good records and show proof of ownership, you will be able to get your four-legged friend back.
  • Protect Your Fur-Baby the Way You Would a Child – Your cat or dog should be like your child.  You would never leave a baby in a baby carriage or a young child unsupervised in the rear of a truck, in an unlocked or easily-unlocked vehicle, left outdoors by the supermarket or drugstore door while you quickly dash in to grab something, or god forbid tied up to a pole while you grab a coffee. All it takes for a stranger to grab even the largest dog is to innocently untangle their lead and stroll off as though the pet were their own, quickly turn a corner, throw the dog into the back of a minivan and drive off without your even noticing until you step outside. All it takes is a 2-second turn to grab your coffee off the counter and just like a small child, your dog could be snatched and gone forever! There are no pet Amber Alerts, which aren’t even always effective when trying to trace a child. When outdoors, keep your eye on your pet at all times.  It’s the easiest and best way to prevent someone from taking your dog or cat without your permission.
  • Reference-Checking – If you are looking for a dog sitter or a groomer, always check references and make sure they are who they say they are.  There are many would be thieves who will answer those types of ads and then when the homeowner gets home, their pets are gone.  If need be, check with your veterinarian to see who they recommend for sitting and grooming services.

It’s up to you to protect your pets from harm.  They can’t fend for themselves. By following this advice you can thwart off thieves wanting to steal, hurt or sell your precious dog or cat.