The Facts About Dog Napping

keeping your dog safeYou may be under the impression that your dog is not at risk of being taken, unfortunately that isn’t necessarily true. According to the American Kennel Club dog thefts have been on the rise since 2012 as much as 70%. Some areas in the United States stand out with even higher numbers as the act of dog “flipping” continues to be an easy way to quick money.  Flipping is when dog-nappers 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.

Considering the saleability of small dogs, it should come as no surprise that small breeds hold the top 7 positions of this list.  This hold true for the most part because 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.  But the large breeds aren’t completely safe especially in areas prone to dog fighting.  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.

The first thing you need to do when you find your dog missing  is to call your local animal shelters and animal control to file a lost pet report.  The next step is to call the police 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 to alert them of your dog’s disappearance in the event your dog should end up in their care.  You should also monitor Craigslist for dogs coming up for sale and use social media to get the word out about your lost dog.

But we would like to say that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, especially when it comes to your dog’s protection from being stolen.  Times have changed and the freedoms we use to have with our dogs have slowly disappeared and taken away.  It is no longer advisable to leave your pet unattended in a public area, particularly 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.

One of the best ways you can protect your dog from being stolen as well as getting lost is to have them micro-chipped. More and more animal control facilities are 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.

With most mobile phones having cameras, keeping up-to-date photos of your dog is easy and important for identifying your lost dogs. In the heat of the moment things get forgotten so a “to do” list in the event your dog goes missing will ensure all steps for locating your dog are done.  No one can be expected to keep their wits about them in this kind of an emergency. It is also helpful for 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 before hiring.  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.  Always 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.