Here’s an unexpected result of the plummeting economy: MSNBC.com is reporting that dognapping is on the rise. In the first five months of 2008, the AKC received reports of 30 stolen dogs, compared to only ten for all of 2007.
They point to a couple of probable causes:
Stealing to give the dog away as a present when they can’t afford to purchase a real gift. (Some of these thefts happened around Valentine’s Day.)
Stealing to keep the dog as a pet. My question: How can you afford food, toys, vet care, etc. if you can’t afford to buy the dog?
Stealing for resale. This is especially common with purebreds and designer hybrids.
Stealing for the ransom many people are willing to pay for the safe return of a family member. Because pet thefts are treated as property theft by the legal system, penalties are much less severe than those for kidnapping. Based on the value of the dog, the case may be treated as a misdemeanor or as a felony.
Although some dogs are stolen from yards or parked cars, some sophisticated thieves are posing as prospective buyers while they case a breeder’s home, then returning later to steal entire liters!
What should you do if your pet is stolen? Reduce his resale value by posting signs at shelters, vet offices, pet stores, online message boards, and missing pet websites. The more people who recognize a potential purchase as stolen property, the fewer who will be willing to buy him.
You can find tips to protect your dog from theft here.
Until next time,
Good day, and good dog!