According to In Defense of Animals (IDA), of the 5 million family pets reported missing each year, 1.5 to 2 million (a conservative estimate, according to the IDA) are taken forcibly or through deception. Says the ASPCA, while many of these pets are stolen from yards or during home invasions, a majority are taken from cars or while tied up outside a store with their parents inside running an errand.
Don’t let this heartbreaking crime happen to you and your beloved companion; here are the ASPCA’s tips for protecting your pet:
When running errands around town, visit pet-friendly establishments or please leave your dog at home.
Keep a close eye on your pet in designated off-leash areas, where he could become a target for criminals looking to make a quick buck. (Pet thieves often try to resell—or even hold for ransom—stolen dogs.)
Avoid leaving your pet unattended in the front yard, especially if your lawn is exposed or accessible.
The same rules apply for leaving your pet tied up outside a store. In addition to being vulnerable to theft and teasing, your dog might escape or get injured.
Microchip your pet! Microchipping can often mean the difference between temporary and permanent separation from your furry loved one.
If your pet goes missing, don’t panic. Read the ASPCA’s article on Finding a Lost Pet for helpful information and advice.