The Problem of Dognapping: How to Prevent Dog Theft

Last Updated: 1 year ago

Today, there is a new crime on the rise: dognapping.

It’s sad but true. There are people out there who will steal your dog. This is especially true if you have an expensive purebred since the thief will see it as an opportunity to make a buck.

This is a terrible problem because it takes your dog away from its loving home and family. It’s a tragic loss for you and a frightening experience for your poor pup. That’s why it’s so important to learn how to protect your dog from theft.

In this article, we’ll talk about the problem of “dognapping” or “petnapping” in more detail and then give you some practical and effective tips and strategies for keeping your dog safe at home where it belongs.

What Is Dognapping and Why Do People Do It?

What Is Dognapping and Why Do People Do It?

Dognapping is the act of stealing a dog. Some people do it on a regular basis and others do it when they see a particularly easy opportunity. There are a lot of reasons a person would steal a dog and all of them can be summed up as to make a profit.

  1. In demand purebreds can be sold for a high profit (especially since they paid nothing by stealing it).
  2. Larger, muscular breeds like pit bulls are often stolen and used in dog fighting pits where the thief earns their money either by selling the dog to a dog fighter or by placing bets on the fights.
  3. Less in demand breeds and mutts may be stolen for illegal sales to labs (who may or may not know the source of the dogs they are buying). This is a less common option since it doesn’t bring in as much money as the first two but it does happen.

Which Breeds Are Most Likely to Be Stolen?

Which Breeds Are Most Likely to Be Stolen?

With dog theft on the rise, it’s important to know which breeds are most at risk.

Depending on which money-making reason a person has cruelly decided to steal a dog, the top 10 most stolen breeds are the following:

  1. Yorkshire Terrier: a purebred can be sold for as high as $2,500 and they are small so it’s easier to steal and a high profit for doing so.
  2. Pomeranian: these are often stolen for the same reasons as the Yorkshire Terrier. They’re small and people will pay as much as $3,000 to own one.
  3. Maltese: again, these are small and expensive (between $1,000 and $2,500) 
  4. Boston Terrier: they are a little bit bigger but they can be sold for a lot of money.
  5. French bulldog: these can sell for as high as $4,000
  6. Chihuahua: these are very popular and each one can bring in a couple grand.
  7. Labradoodles: these are a little more difficult to steal since they are larger but they are still a common target of theft since they can be sold for about $2,000.
  8. American Pit Bull Terrier: this and other breeds of pit bulls are, tragically, most often stolen to be put into dog fighting rings. This adds an extra level of cruelty on top of the theft.
  9. German Shepherd: it’s less common that an adult German shepherd will be targeted but the puppies are at a high risk since they can sell for a lot of money.
  10. Labrador Retriever: sadly, their naturally friendly personality makes them an easier target for theft despite their larger size. And they can be sold for up to $2,000.

How Can I Keep My Dog Safe?

How Can I Keep My Dog Safe?

This all probably has you fairly terrified and worried for the welfare of your beloved pet. But don’t worry too much.

The first step is to be aware of the problem. And by following the tips below, you can make sure your dog does not become a victim to a greedy and ruthless dognapper:

  • Use GPS tracking: you can get GPS equipped collars so that if your dog goes missing, you can track it from your GPS monitor.
  • Keep recent photographs: always have a quality and recent photograph of your dog on hand. This will be necessary for police and for notifying neighbors and others to keep an eye out for your dog.
  • Don’t leave pets unattended while you’re out. Leashing them outside the store is a risk. If you can’t take them with you inside the store, leave them at home and make up for it by going for a walk with them later.
  • Be careful about the “free to good home” ads. This won’t increase the likelihood of a dog being stolen but these are targeted by people who gather dogs to sell to laboratories. Make sure you get to know the person you are giving the dog to.
  • Have a good fence. A solid fence and locked gates will go a long way toward keeping a dognapper out of your yard and away from your pet.
  • Consider keeping pet indoors while away. A fence can be an important step but for high demand breeds, you are probably safest keeping it safely secured indoors while you’re gone.
  • Install home security. Home security, particularly security cameras that can record footage will help you catch the thief if your dog is stolen. You’ll have footage of the person and a time stamp to know when it happened. The police may actually be able to catch the criminal with this kind of evidence.

As you can see, there are many steps you can take to keep your pet safe and increase your chances of finding the thief if it is stolen.

By being aware and practicing these smart tips, you’ll be able to keep your lovable pup safe from the threat of being stolen.

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