Dog napping is on the rise, , how to protect yours

Dog napping does not refer to your canine taking a snooze on its favorite chair. Dog napping is a traumatic event that victimizes the family and pet. If you aren’t careful, your much loved family pooch could get “dog napped.” The American Kennel Club is now warning the nation’s breeders and pet owners about a rise in dog napping thefts in recent months, according to current information and news releases.

Criminals look to exploit the opportunities presented by weaknesses in attention and security, and our dogs are now a target. There has been an alarming rise in dog thefts in recent months from all around the country including armed robbers doing home invasions. There are dog napping reports of puppies being stuffed into purses at pet stores and purebred pets being snatched from cars in parking lots and stolen from shelters.

Guardians need to be alert

Dog napping thieves seek to resell the dog. Any dog can be a target, particularly if the dog has especially striking or attractive coat or markings. Dogs believed to be of a “fighting potential” such as the Staffordshire Bull Terrier are also at great risk as they are often stolen for use in underground dog fighting rings.

Many dogs are stolen so the dog nappers can collect a ransom

A purebred puppy can sell for a $1,000 and prize-winning pedigree dogs can be worth up to $10,000. Losing a treasured family pet is devastating. Knowing the increased financial and emotional value pets have in our lives, the dog napper may wait until the owners start to put up posters and place newspaper ads offering rewards to contact them, claiming to have found or “rescued” the dog.

A dog napper’s motivation could be to breed the dogs and sell their offspring. Often the thieves will find themselves with a frightened and confused animal that needs a lot of care, leaving the dog exposed to further uncertainty.

To Avoid Potential Dog Napping Danger

It is not a good idea to put your dog’s or your own personal details on the tag. This information can be used by the dog nappers in various ways to their advantage. A contact phone number is sufficient.

Don’t let your dog off-leash. Keeping your dog close to you reduces the likelihood it will wander off and catch the attention of thieves.

Neuter your pet, male or female. Neutered dogs are less inclined to roam.

Train your dogto consistently come when it’s called; this can be done by the guardian without too much effort with the wonderful training programs available for home education. Get professional help if necessary.

Don’t leave your dog unattended or out of your sight any more than you would a young child in your yard. Dogs left outdoors unsupervised for long periods of time are potential targets. This includes residents who live in rural areas with fenced-in yards or dog runs that are visible from the street. If approached by a stranger to admire your dog during walks, don’t discuss how much the dog cost, how valuable it might be, or details as to where you live. Breedersbeware. Criminals posing as would be potential puppy buyers have visited breeder homes to snatch dogs, and homes have been burglarized when the owner was away when dog nappings have occurred. Thieves will target young puppies of highly coveted popular breeds.

An unlocked car is an invitation for trouble. Never leave your dog in an unattended car, even if it’s locked and you are gone for only a moment. In the warmer months this can also pose the deadly danger of heat strokeas well. If you cannot take your dog with you, it is best left at home.

Leaving expensive items in the car that thieves will target such as a GPS unit, laptop or other attractive items will only invite thieves to break into your car and possibly allow the dog to escape. Never tie your dog outside a store, a popular practice among city dwelling dog owners; this is a recipe for disaster that has resulted in dog napping reports in Manhattan, New York City. If you go shopping with your dog, only patronize retailers who will allow your leashed dog or leave the dog at home. Be aware of your surroundings when entering or leaving establishments, slow moving vehicles, or people watching you and your dog.

Carry pepper spray as a precaution and don’t walk alone late at night unless in a well lit area.

Collarsand tags can be removed from the dog napped animal. Protect your dog with permanent ID microchip identification — a simple, painless procedure performed by your vet and it will remain there permanently where it can be picked up by a special scanner. Tattooing a special registration number might also be considered. (Your veterinarian can fill you in on the details.) Keep contact information current with your recovery service provider. Several pets have been recovered because of alert people scanning and discovering microchips.

If your dog goes missing

If you suspect your dog has been stolen immediately call the police / animal control in the area your pet was last seen.

Have a recent photo and fliers prepared and ready to go. Keep a photo of your dog in your wallet or easily accessible on the computer or web account to be distributed immediately if your pet goes missing. Dog napping is now recognized as a serious problem, protect your pet.