Keep Your Dog Safe From Dog-Nappers

keep your small dog safeYou may not feel that your dog is at risk of being taken, but sadly dog theft is on the rise.  In fact, the American Kennel Club has reported a 70 percent increased in dog thefts for the year 2012.  One of the reasons is that “pet flipping” is on the rise.  Thieves steal dogs from cars, yards and some cases even the home in order to resell them for a quick profit.  One way to be informed is to know if your dog is on the top 10 list of stolen breeds.  If they are then your dog is at a significantly larger threat of being swiped.

As you may have already guessed, the small breeds hold the top 7 positions of this list.  This is in part due to the fact that it is far easier to snatch up and conceal a small dog and a thief is far less likely to get into an unmanageable confrontation with a toy breed.  However, some of the most popular large breeds take the bottom 3 positions but not always for “pet flipping.”  Unfortunately, many times the larger dogs are taken as bait dogs by dog fighters.

So who made the list?

  1. Yorkshire Terrier takes the number one position with high price tag, it’s popularity and easy of re-homing.
  2. Pomeranian is just behind the Yorkie in high price tag and popularity paired with being considered fashionable.
  3. Maltese puppies too are small, highly popular with affluent crowds and is of high value like the top two breeds.
  4. Boston Terrier’s have all the above features as well as a smart and charming demeanor and are highly sociable.
  5. French Bulldog is 3rd most stolen dog in the US according to the AKC with similar traits of the Boston Terrier.
  6. Chihuahuas are the top dog to be lifted in cities and have become dangerously popular by high-profile celebrities.
  7. Labradoodle despite being a mixed breed is a “designer” breed and are very trendy making them of high value.
  8. Pit Bull Terriers start the list of the big dogs that are unfortunately stolen primarily for bait or fighting dogs.
  9. German Shepherd though not as easy to steal, if purebred can fetch top dollar and make for bait dogs.
  10. Labrador Retriever as the most popular breed in the US they are abundant and easy to re-home.

What if your dog is on the list, what should you do if your dog comes up missing?  The first thing you should do is call local animal shelters and animal control to file a lost pet report.  The police should be called as soon as possible if there is good reason to believe your dog has actually been stolen.  It would be a good idea to also call local veterinarians, groomers or even local pet stores.  You should even monitor Craigslist for dogs coming up for sale and use social media to get the word out about your lost dog.

But an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, especially when it comes to your dog’s safety from being stolen.  Times have changed and the freedoms we use to have with our dogs has been slowly taken away.  No longer is it advisable to leave your pet unattended in a public area, especially the breeds on the list.  This includes your car.  Not only is it unsafe health wise, a thief can easily break a window and snatch your dog while you are away.

You can help keep your dog safe by micro-chipping your dog.  More and more animal control facilities are becoming equip with microchip readers in case your dog is found wondering the street and is taken in.  It can also identify your dog if someone has “adopted” your wanderer or have purchased it from a con.

Keep up-to-date photos of your dog as well as a “to do” list in the event your dog goes missing.  No one can be expected to keep their wits about them in this kind of an emergency.  A list will make sure everything that needs to be done gets done as well as listing important information such as microchip numbers, medications and other important information to tell the proper authorities.

Another way to keep you dog safe is to always get references for pet sitters and dog walkers and be sure to use them.  An honest person in these professions will understand your concerns and should willingly work with you and providing you with everything you need to be certain they are legitimate.  And if you are planning on adopting, don’t get scammed.  Try to do business with reputable and established shelters and breeders.  Just like your dog walkers, get references both from clients and other breeders to verify they are ethical and honest businesses.

Don’t get all crazy with worry if you have a dog on this list or one that resembles them.  Just stay informed and use common sense to keep your dog safe.

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