Did you know that dog theft is big business in the United States? That’s why you see those heartbreaking ads in newspapers and online, talking about missing dogs and how their people would give anything to have them back again.
Here’s the reality – dogs hardly ever just get lost. They have amazing noses that will almost always guide them home, no matter where they end up. So when they go missing, and they don’t come back, they’re probably not lost in the woods somewhere. They’re with someone who has bad intentions.
Why Do People Steal Dogs?
Most of the time, dogs that are stolen are taken by criminals, because they can sell the dog to someone else. Some dogs are “trendy,” and therefore more desirable by thieves. They’re looking for dogs that are very popular, and the funny thing is, a lot of the time the dogs that they are looking for are dogs that you couldn’t even have given away ten years ago. They want so-called “Doxies,” “Morkies,” “Chipoos,” “Maltipoos” and so on. In other words, they are looking for cross-breeds that not all that long ago would have been thought of as “mutts,” but are now, for reasons that totally escape me, considered as breeds in and of themselves instead of cross-breeds.
If you have one of those dogs, you’d better keep it under lock and key. Thieves are not looking for purebreds anymore, so your purebred may actually be safer than one of those so-called “designer dogs.”
Horribly enough, one of the other reasons that people steal dogs is that they can sell them to unscrupulous research labs for animal testing. I can’t even stand to think about what those dogs are subjected to.
How Do People Steal Dogs?
People steal dogs so easily. You leave your dog unattended in your yard. Or you go to the grocery store, and leave the window down just a bit. Almost anyone can get in and trip the lock. Even if the window is up (and of course it shouldn’t be in warm weather), your vehicle is very easy to break into, no matter what the guy who sold you your car told you.
I’ve even heard stories about people who have been attacked on the street and had their dogs stolen. Granted, this is rare, but just the same, criminals have actually been known to leave purses and wallets, and just take the dog. Why? Because they can sell the dog for a lot more cash than the average person is carrying. You might only have twenty bucks in your wallet, but you could have a dog that might go for a thousand dollars or more.
Keeping Your Dog Safe
Now that you’ve read the foregoing, you might be wondering how you can ever keep your dog from being stolen with all the criminals out there. Fortunately, it is possible.
The first thing you need to do is not leave your dog unattended. Barring the very rare “grab and dash,” most dog thieves are not going to attempt to take an unattended dog.
You should also think about microchipping your dog, and by that I mean an under-the-skin microchip, not a collar. What do you think is going to happen if you put a GPS collar on your dog? It will help you if your dog is lost, but not if he is stolen. All the criminal has to do is take the collar off the dog, and there you are, looking for a collar.
Never leave your dog unattended. You hear this about kids all the time – “I turned around for a minute, and he was gone!” The same thing happens with dogs. Don’t leave your dog sitting alone outside the convenience store – he is easy prey for anyone who wants to snatch him.
Remember, too, that although most kids are taken by people they know, the converse is true with dogs – it is usually a stranger abduction. And most dogs are so cooperative, that they will go with anyone who speaks to them kindly. So never, ever, leave your dog alone.
If your dog is always in your yard, and always properly fenced, you will not likely have to worry about him being stolen. A good fence keeps your dog in, and keeps thieves out.
Get a Sign
If thieves are afraid of dogs, it almost goes without saying that they will not attempt to steal them. I highly recommend a good “Beware of Dog” sign like the Aluminum Outdoor Dog Sign you can buy from Amazon. The list price is $10.99, but at Amazon it is just $6.88, and shipping is free. It isn’t fancy – it just says “Beware of Dog” in black letters on a white background. No explanations, no indication of breed. Just “Beware of Dog.” So, is your mini Dachshund in the back yard protected by the Rottweiler people should beware of? Who knows.
Get a Big Dog
If you don’t have a dog, and you are thinking about getting one, there are breeds that you can choose that are virtually thief-proof. For instance, your Cane Corso, your DogoArgentino, your Rottweiler, your Doberman, or virtually any other large breed of dog, could be the sweetest, kindest, gentlest animal on the face of the planet, but do you really think that a potential dog thief is going to take the chance? I’m thinking not.
The Final Word
Can you imagine, living for probably at least twelve years, wondering, “Where is he? Is he all right? Did someone take him who will love him? Or is he gone forever from this world?”
It’s horrible, having a dog stolen. If you love him, microchip him, and make sure that you watch him when he’s outside. Losing a dog can be the worst kind of heartbreak you will ever experience, so do everything you can to make sure that it doesn’t happen to you.