9 Tips to Avoid Dog Theft

Dog theft is an increasing problem. While you might think it is only purebred dogs that are at risk, thieves also target mixed breeds. Pet owners can help protects their pets from this crime, according to the American Kennel Society.

Attend Your Dog When Outside


A thief is more likely to target pets left alone in an outdoor kennel or yard for extended periods. If the fence is visible from the street, your pet draws more attention. You can protect your dog while it is outside for exercise by going out with it. This is a great way to bond with your pet and enjoy some fresh air for yourself.

Lock Your Gates


While locks are not foolproof, they slow down a thief and increase the attention he is likely to draw to himself. Keep the gates locked when your pet is outside. The thief is likely to move on down the road for an easier target.

Leash Your Pet


Even the most obedient dogs are sometimes lured from their owners by another animal or a stranger offering a treat. If you pet is on a leash and the leash is in your hand, your pet remains safe and in your sight.

Do Not Leave Dogs in a Vehicle


Leaving a dog inside a parked car is dangerous to its health. Several states have good Samaritan laws that allows a passerby break a window to rescue a dog from a hot car. A thief could break into your car and take your dog while bystanders think he is being a hero. If you cannot be with your dog for the entire trip, leave your pet at home.

Do Not Tie Dogs Outside a Store


Whether you are walking your dog and need to stop in a store or want to protect your pet from the heat of a car, avoid tying it outside a store. Stealing a pet takes only seconds, and the public location puts your pet at too great a risk. If you must take your pet with you when you shop, choose pet-friendly stores.

Be Leary of Over-Interested Strangers


While your pet might be your whole world, and you enjoy talking about it, an overly inquisitive stranger might be a potential thief gathering information about what your dog is worth or where you live. Protect your pet by keeping such private information to yourself.

Use a Microchip


Your vet can place a microchip in your pet. A scan of the pet using a special reader links him to you and increases the chances of finding your lost or stolen dog.

Report Crimes Immediately


If you believe a thief has taken your pet, report the crime immediately. The sooner you make your report the greater the chance of finding your pet while it is still near home. Early reporting also reduces the chance of the thieves injuring your pet.

Use Social Media


Report the theft on your favorites social media sites. Post a photo of your pet. These sites spread the news quickly so others can help find your pet.

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