Are you putting your dog at risk to be stolen? Do you know how to prevent pet theft?
Pet theft is real, and sadly over two million pets (and counting) have been stolen in the United States.
As a dog mom, I often wonder why are our pets such a hot ticket for thieves? The answer is simple, MONEY!!!
Dogs are taken to be sold to unsuspecting people, laboratories in need of animals to do testing, dog fighting rings, to be used for puppy mills or to scam the people they took the dog from to collect any monetary reward offered or for ransom.
In honor of Pet Theft Awareness Day, read about mistakes dog parents often make that can get their dog stolen and what you can do to prevent thieves from stealing your dog.
This blog is about three mistakes dog parents make that can get their dog stolen.
Pet Theft Awareness
Mistake #1 That Gets Your Dog Stolen: Leaving Your Dog Tied Up Outside or in The Car to Run Inside the Store “Really Quick”.
Someone ties their dog outside the store or leaves their pup in the car to run inside the store really quick to buy something. They come back, and their pup is gone. What do they always say? “I was only gone for five minutes.”
Let’s be honest here; it’s never just five minutes because you’re never timing yourself. Truthfully most of the time, you’re gone for much longer because something potentially holds you up. The person in front of you is taking longer, something isn’t working right with the register, etc.
All this time you’ve left your pup alone has given a dog napper ample time to come and take your dog. Think about how easy it is for a dog thief to walk up, untie the leash or detach the leash from your dog’s collar or harness and attach it to a new one.
More often than not, people outside aren’t really paying attention to who the dog’s owner is, so most aren’t going to think twice about someone approaching a dog and walking away with them.
Your car might take a minute or two extra to get in, but that still isn’t a better option to prevent pet theft for your pup.
Not too long ago here in Hawaii, someone left their dogs in their vehicle while this person ran inside a local coffee shop to grab their order. This person came back, and not only were this person’s dogs gone but so was their vehicle.
If you’re going to run errands, no matter how quick you think you’re going to be and the place your going isn’t dog friendly, the safest option is just to leave them at home, secured inside.
Don’t want to leave them at home? Then do yourself a favor and have a friend or family member with you who can watch them when you step away. There’s always safety in numbers anyways.
Mistake #2 That Gets Your Dog Stolen: Being Distracted and Not Paying Attention to Where Your Dog Is.
You’re at the local off-leash dog park, a pet store, a beach, or a doggie cafe where your pup is running around with his furry friends. You’re distracted by texting, socializing with your fellow dog parents, looking at retail items, or catching up on social media, and you look around, and your dog is nowhere to be found.
You just took your eyes off of them for a second, right? WRONG!!! Once again, let’s face it, you took the eye off the prize (your dog) and were flat out not paying attention.
Uber popular dog parks, beaches, stores, or any location where dogs are permitted to run around off-leash are great locations for dog snatchers. The truth is that dog thieves are watching you and the other dog parents to see who is paying attention to their pups. They’re waiting for that one golden opportunity where they can swoop in and take your dog.
I’m a helicopter dog mom and not ashamed to admit it. If someone texts me, I’ll either tell them I can’t text at that moment, and I’ll get back to them later, or I have my pup sitting right in front of me or in between my feet, where I can easily see (out of my peripheral vision) someone come up to us.
Pay attention to your surroundings and where your dog is AT ALL TIMES. If you go to the same off-leash dog parks or off-leash dog venues, get to know the regular dog parents who go. Start to take notice of which human belongs to which dog.
Notice anyone who looks out of place? Someone there with a leash but no dog? Then sound the alarm and let others know to take notice too. If local law enforcement is close by, go tell them.
Being vigilant can be the difference between having your dog snatched or stopping anything happening in the first place. Be THAT Dog Parent!
Mistake #3: Leaving Your Dog Unattended in Your Yard.
Do you think having your dog playing in the front yard or back yard without anyone outside with them is safe? Negative Ghost Rider. Dogs get snatched all the time from their yards. Why? It’s simple, the yard isn’t secured.
Sit back and think how easy it is to approach your front door, for example. How freely can someone gain access to your property?
If your dog is outside playing or just lounging around catching some rays, how easy would it be for some to just walk on up, unlock or reach over your gate to get to your dog? This is really important if you live in a high traffic area where many people are walking or driving by.
My property is surrounded by a tall rock wall, tall gates that are locked with a key, and we have security cameras, and I still don’t let my dogs outside without me or my husband standing out there with them. Grant it, you have to scale a pretty tall wall to get into my yard, but I’m still not willing to risk it or give someone an opportunity either.
Yes, your home is supposed to be a sanctuary and your safe place, but sadly bad things happen at home. Just like everything else, keep an eye on them and be vigilant.
Take a break from what you’re doing and go outside with your dog. Look around and pay attention to who is walking by or parked nearby. If you have a gate door with a lock, ensure it’s secure. Have a security camera? Make sure it’s in working order, and you can see your property clearly.
If you see someone you’re not familiar with approaching your yard, call your dog to you until the person passes by or states their business on why they’re there. Be cautious just letting random people approach your dog in your yard and start petting them.
If you’re inside and hear your dog barking, rush to see what the commotion is all about. Don’t just yell for them to calm down or be quiet. Your dog can’t yell STRANGER DANGER, but they can bark to alert you that something is happening.
This is not meant to scare you or feel like you can’t leave your dog anywhere, but to get dog parents to be more aware of dog/pet safety and get more proactive in becoming badass dog parents and taking on dog parent responsibilities like a boss.
After reading this post, you now have learned mistakes dog owners often make that puts their dogs at risk for being stolen and can take the proper steps to keep your dogs safe.