This past fall, someone tried to steal our dogs.  On an October night our dogs were running in our yard; as I sat at the top of our driveway reading my email on my phone.  At the bottom of the driveway I heard a man’s voice: “here puppy, puppy”.  Curious I walked to the bottom of the driveway; noticing a vehicle in the dark with the door open; with not even a dome light illuminating the interior.  A man was at the bottom of the driveway.  I asked, “can I help you”?  The man replied I am looking for my aunt’s house and got into his car and drove off without any lights on.  We learned from the local Sheriff’s Department that night about pet theft.  Dogs are routinely stolen from people’s homes to be sold or even worse case scenario used for fighting.

Here are a few theft prevention tips:

1. Don’t let pets roam freely.
Keeping dogs indoors or under close supervision is the absolute best way to avoid theft. Leaving animals alone outside, in the yard, in a car or tied up outside a store, makes them vulnerable to criminals.

2. Invest in microchip ID.
Collars and tags can be removed, but a microchip is a permanent form of identification for pets. Chipped pets are much more likely to be reunited with owners, so be sure to keep contact information current.

3. Avoid buying a stolen pet.
It’s also important to avoid feeding the stolen pet market. New owners should seek out reputable breeders or rescue groups for pets rather than internet sellers because there’s no way to verify where the animal came from.

4. Have a recovery plan in place.
If you suspect your pet has been stolen, immediately contact the police and the media. Owners should also have recent photos ready as well as any relevant information, such as medical issues, microchip data and description, to be included for online and print postings.

Amy & Sean Jones–