You don’t want to think of your pet ever getting taken from you, but the truth is that pets do get stolen, and it’s important to know what you can do to best protect the ones you love. Our friends at Guardians of Rescue—a New York based animal welfare organization—shared these tips for keeping your pets safe from would-be animal snatchers:
According to the American Kennel Club, the rate of pet theft is on the rise and the victimized pets range from small puppies to purebred animals being snatched from parking lots and animal shelters. Stolen pets are often sold for research in laboratories, forced into dog-fighting, bred in puppy mills, used for ritual sacrifice for satanic cults and other sadistic acts, or put up for sale in pet stores.
A case that hits close to home for Guardians of Rescue, Iraq War veteran Kenneth Chambers lost his PTSD companion in Jacksonville, Florida, in August 2012 and is still waiting for Adalida to return home, offering a $5000 reward to the individual that returns her. He has distributed fliers and reached out to local organizations in an attempt to locate Adalida and has a Facebook page.
Here are seven tips to help prevent pet theft:
1. Don’t leave animals unattended or unleashed: keeping your pets close by will greatly reduce the likelihood they will wander off and catch the attention of thieves.
2. Do not tie up pets in front of stores while you run inside or leave them unattended in a car. Make sure your animal is not visible from the street, and padlock entries to your yard.
3. Keep cats indoors for safety.
4. Properly identify your pet: use a collar, tags, microchip, and/or a small tattoo to identify your pet.
5. Keep your info up-to-date: keep your tags and pets license current to help your pet be identified.
6. Spay and neuter your pets: fixed animals are statistically less likely to stray from home.
7. Keep a recent photo of your pet: if your dog goes missing, use a recent photo to create fliers to distribute immediately.
If you suspect that your pet has been stolen, call the police immediately and report the area where your pet was last seen. A quick method of finding lost pets is having your pet microchipped—the average cost rates between $25-$50 and allows pet caregivers to have the security of tracking their pets, as well as allowing animal control to identify and charge people who abuse and neglect their pets as well as pet thieves.
“The problem of lost dogs can be greatly reduced if pet [guardians] take precautions, such as implanting a microchip and keeping their tags updated,” affirms Dori Scofield, vice president of Guardians of Rescue.
Click here for more information on what to do if your pet is lost.