Tips and Facts About Animal Theft And Loss

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As animal lovers and pet parents, the thought of losing our precious animals is just the same as having a human child abducted or lost. That moment of sheer terror when your constant companion disappears, has gone missing or you simply can’t find them for longer than five minutes, is completely terrifying. Once a few hours turns into several days, weeks or even months, this loss is often insurmountable.

But there are some ways we can prepare and prevent ourselves from experiencing these kinds of tragedies. Beyond the obvious methods of identifying our pets in case of loss, we arm them with ID tags, microchipping, or even tattoo them. While these traditional methods are worthy, but there’s more we can do to prevent this type of devastating loss.

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The Best Offense Is A Good Defense

If your indoor/outdoor dog is generally contained inside a fenced area, such as a backyard or other exterior arena, make sure you’re aware of possible entrances, exits, escape routes or other areas that make them more vulnerable to be snatched. For example, if there’s a gate into your backyard, a simple latch could be replaced with a lock or other permanent device that disallows unwanted guests onto your private property. It also makes it more difficult for a pet to escape.

You should also sweep this area regularly for potential problems, faulty hinges on those gates, loose boards in fencing, underground holes or other avenues for possible exits. Some pets are snatched off the streets when they wander away from their confines while others simply become lost when they’re away from home.

Risky Business

Pet owners should know that animals at the highest risk for being abducted are those that are purebred or have special abilities. Even without papers to prove their bloodlines, certain breeds are simply more susceptible to be stolen when compared to others. And speaking of papers, many people get purebred animals from shelters since 25% of dogs in these places are said to have pure bloodlines.


According to statistics, the top ten abducted animals include:

  1. Yorkshire (and other specialty) Terriers

  2. Pomeranian

  3. Maltese

  4. Boston Terrier

  5. French Bulldog

  6. Chihuahua

  7. Labradoodle

  8. American Pit Bull Terrier

  9. German Shepherd

  10. Labrador Retriever

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As you can see, the most commonly stolen dogs come in all shapes and sizes so no matter what breed you may have, keep an eye on them at all times. The AKC (American Kennel Club) offers some more advice for keeping animal theft and loss at a minimum.

 

  • Don’t let your dog off leash, even if they’re at a fenced dog park, they could still grab the attention of a potential thief who could take them in a moment’s notice or wander off.

 

  • Never leave your dog inside of an automobile alone, even if it’s locked.

 

  • Make sure your pet is spayed or neutered which reduces the likelihood of them running off when they’re in heat or attracting other animals to escape for mating.

 

  • Don’t tie your dog outside of a store or other business, no matter how brief your visit.

 

  • It’s okay to be friendly when you’re walking your dog, but don’t give out too much personal information about you or your pet like where you live or what you may have paid for them.

 

  • Dogs left unattended for long periods of time in a backyard are prime targets for thieves especially if the gate is visible from the street and some of them escape through faulty fencing or burrow their way out.

 

Some animals can be resold on the street for hundreds and in many cases, even thousands of dollars, which makes for a quick turnaround for desperate criminals. Don’t make their job any easier and protect your precious pet at all times.

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