Few things can haunt a dog owner as much as the fear of their pet being abducted. Many dogs are stolen each year, all around the country, and there is little that can be done after your dog has been stolen. There are, however, many preventative measures that can help protect your dog from being stolen.
Fencing – Make sure that your fencing is secure. Not only should your fencing secure your dogs inside your yard, it should also keep people out. Consider installing a dog run or enclosed kennel for your dogs. Make sure there is fencing over the top as well. Double check to make sure all locks are in working condition.
Inside Pets – Keep your dogs inside as much as possible. When you do let them out, stay with them and do not leave them unattended. Many dogs are stolen when they are let out to “take care of business.” Remember that any dog can be trained to use a litter box.
Microchips and Tattoos – Have your dog microchipped and tattooed as well. Register the chip with the manufacturer and make sure your current veterinarian is aware your dog has a microchip. Microchips are no more painful to your dog than routine vaccinations. Tattooing can be done when your dog is altered or has her teeth cleaned. Include information that your dog has been altered in the tattoo. Those stealing dogs often try to breed them and this will let them know that is not possible.
Tags – Make sure your dog is always wearing their tags. Many dogs are thought to be strays and are taken in by kind dog lovers who do not know they have a home. Never put your dog’s name on the tag. Have your name and current telephone number engraved on the tag as well as the name and telephone number of your veterinarian.
Training – Train your dog not to go with strangers and to stay in their yard. If a dog will not come when called by a stranger, the thief is more likely to move on to an easier target. Make sure that you dog is trained not to accept treats and other food from strangers. Dognappers often use food to lure dogs away.
Pay Attention – Be aware of what is going on in community. Know if dogs are being stolen near your home. Know the breeds of dogs that are being stolen, in case you have that specific breed or a similar breed. Watch out for people who are overly-interested in your dog. Many dognappers approach the dog’s owner in pet stores, dog parks and other places frequented by dogs and their owners before stealing the dog. Be aware of anyone who talks to your dog through your fence or offers your dogs treat while it is in the yard. This can be a sign they might be trying to gain your dog’s trust, making stealing the dog easier.
Having your dog stolen is a horrible experience. Do all that you can to protect your dog and prevent your dog from being taken away from you. These simple preventative measures will help keep your dog from being stolen.