As we begin the new year, we are reminded of what we need to do to change for the better. We are also reminded of who and what we hold near and dear to our hearts. This includes our furry loved ones. Every year, there is an increase in pet theft and as we learn that this disgraceful crime is on the rise, we must take measures to keep our pets safe.
The American Kennel Club tracked 432 pet thefts in 2011, compared to 255 in 2010. That’s about an 85 percent increase! While some animals are snatched from their yards or during home invasions, opportunistic thieves most commonly steal dogs left in cars or tied up outside stores, much like this incident recorded a couple of weeks ago on surveillance camera. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Marley, was shown being overwrought and then taken by a stranger in New York City. 7-year-old owner Mia Bendrat was devastated about her missing dog that was gone just a day before Christmas. Thankfully, Marley was microchipped and returned to Mia after being sold to a woman who thought the deal was odd.
Unfortunately, the American Kennel Club has seen a rise of dognappings in shelters, which means safe zones for animals are now very limited. There are many of ways to protect your animal, most important being microchipping. Here are important measures to consider to make sure your pet is safe from dognapping.
Protect Your Pet
Avoid becoming a victim of this heartbreaking crime!
- Obviously, it’s best to leave your dog at home but if you insist on bringing your pet when running errands around town, visit pet-friendly establishments.
- Keep a close eye on your pet in designated off-leash areas, where he/she 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 friends.
If you are interested in microchipping your pet, call Animal Wellness Centers at 310-450-7537(PETS) to schedule an appointment for a complete check up and discuss microchip options.
Dr. Annie Harvilicz and her team of veterinary medicine professionals are revolutionizing animal healthcare with her forward-thinking integrative approach to health and wellness. The Animal Wellness flagship veterinarian hospital in Venice – Marina del Rey, Los Angeles, is a state-of-the-art clinic designed from the ground up with your pets’ perspective in mind. Learn more here.