Did you know that there are estimates that say that around 2 million pets are stolen every year? Pet theft is much more common than what you may ever imagine and it is not just confined to ‘bad’ neighborhood. Pet theft is alarmingly rising and it is actually getting scarier for the pet parents residing in the US. The American Kennel Club has been watchfully tracking stolen dog reports since 2007 and they have noted a 35% rise in recent years.
Pet FBI has given several reports of pets that have been stolen from parked cars, fenced yards, front porches and anywhere where the pets have been left unattended. Occasionally, there are many people whose pets have been dumped by an angry spouse or a neighbor due to being constantly disturbed. Read on to know more on reporting about stolen pets.
Reasons behind pets being stolen
Most often, it is seen that there is a profit motive behind stealing pets. Let us tell you why such thefts occur:
- There are people who steal purebred dog as they hope to sell it to some other individual who doesn’t suspect about the lineage of the dog. This is called ‘flipping’. There are small purebred dogs such as Pomeranians, Yorkshire Terriers, Chihuahuas and Maltese which are the most common targets by the pet thieves. These breeds are usually sold for thousands of dollars.
- A pet can also be stolen for the wish to receive a reward.
- In case the pet is not neutered, it might be stolen for selling to a breeder or to a puppy mill.
- Dog fighting rings usually snatch the breeds that have good reputation as fighters like Boston Terriers, Pit Bull, German Shepherds and Boxers. Dog fighting rings even sometimes catch cats.
- There are times when disgruntled neighbors or family members steal a pet in order to just dump it somewhere else.
- However, the only good news about pet parents is that there is a new law that got effective in 2016 and that prevents the sale of ‘randomly collected’ animals to pet labs. The Class B dealers have finally gone out of business.
Now that you’re reading this, it can be taken for granted that your pet has been stolen. Pet FBI is one such reputed detective agency and there are other pet detectives too. Pet FBI is the acronym for Pets Found By Internet and they maintain a database on the total number of lost pets. They also offer advice and expression of sympathy.
Can you recover your stolen pet? Expert Advice
If you have already stolen your pet, here is some advice for the pet parents:
- File a police report with the local police department or the office of the sheriff instantly. A police report will be useful for all sorts of identification reasons while retrieving the pet and this could also be helpful in the court in case the suspect has been brought to trial. In case the authorities are hesitating to make the report, you have to remind them that pets are a part of valuable property and their theft is either misdemeanour or felony under the state laws. As per law, the police should take immediate action on your complaint. Be persistent and patient.
- Follow advice on the webpage that is dedicated to lost pet advice. It is sometimes possible that your pet wasn’t stolen or even if it was stolen, it broke away. The thief might even abandon it later on.
- We advise you to post a lost report. It is best when you don’t mention that you feel that your pet was stolen. If you do so, the honest good man or the thief will feel hesitant to surrender and speak the truth. Don’t say ‘No questions asked’.
- Canvass the spot where you saw your pet last to check whether or not anyone observed this theft.
- Whenever a pet is stolen, for most of the time, there is a profit motive behind the theft. Hence, offer a reward but you shouldn’t mention the amount.
- Attach flyers in prominent areas where you feel your pet can get stolen. In case the thief passes through that area, he will notice and flyers and instantly respond in the greed of receiving the reward.
- Get in touch with local media like radio, newspaper and television. Include a recent photo of your pet dog and give details about the state you’re going through so as to add a sympathetic touch to the note.
- If anyone claims to have received your pet, don’t meet in an out-of-the way place or alone or never hand over the money unless your pet is given back to you. In case someone calls you and tells you that he has your pet but he needs money, be aware. This could possibly be a scam!
- Whenever pets are stolen for obtaining profits, particularly pure bred dogs and cats, they can be advertised. There are people who have reported that they found their pet being offered for sale in a classified ad. So, keep a track over the local newspaper, Hoobly.com and Craigslist.
Prevent your pet from being stolen
- Don’t ever leave your pet alone
- Don’t tie your pet outside a store or a restaurant
- Don’t leave pets alone in a car
- While walking your dog, keep him on a leash
- Even though you may have a fenced yard, make sure it is not accessible or visible from the street
- Don’t allow your dog to roam around free. Indoor pets live healthier and fit lives
- Have your pets neutered or spayed. This will make them less vulnerable to theft
- Don’t boast in front of strangers saying that your pet is worth big bucks
- Make sure your pet has good ID, a microchip and a collar with tags
Lastly, don’t become vulnerable to pet theft by purchasing a purebred pet without the papers or buying it from an untrustworthy source. Always keep handy a recent photo of your pet dog so that you may show it to people for recognition.