According to the American Kennel Club, dog-nappings are on the rise. Over 600 dogs were stolen in 2013, a 33% increase over 2012. In 2014, the breeds most often kidnapped are pit bulls and pit mixes, Yorkies, Chihuahuas, Rottweilers, German shepherds, bulldogs and Shih Tzus. Much like with human kidnapping, the crime is often based in greed. You will get a ransom call saying that your dog will be returned when you pony up some money.
What can you do to keep your dog safe?
1. Never leave your dog tied outside in a public place, even if you will be inside a store for “just a minute.” It’s never “just a minute.” You will inevitably get stuck in a long line, find something to browse, have difficulty finding or deciding on a brand or size, or even run into an old friend and start talking.
2. Have your dog micro-chipped so you can establish a link between the dog and yourself. The true way to establish ownership is to buy a dog license from your municipality, but if the dog’s tags or collar are removed, the micro-chip will serve as a back-up.
3. Don’t leave your dog unattended in the yard. Thieves have been known to take animals right out from under their families’ noses.
4. Don’t broadcast the amount of money you paid for your dog. Thieves may not necessarily be dog people who automatically know that one breed is more expensive than another.
If you do get that dreaded ransom call, pay close attention to details like background sounds, any accent or speech impediment in the caller’s voice, and anything else that might help identify where your dog is being held and by whom. If your phone is capable of it, record the call. Call the police immediately. They can help you get your dog safely back and take the dog-napper off the streets before he or she can strike again.
Until next time,
Good day, and good dog!