HAVE YOU SEEN THIS DOG?
UNDERSTANDING DOGNAPPING AND PET THEFT PROTECTION
It seems implausible: you leave your dog alone for a few moments and return to find the space they occupied… empty. It’s a nightmare scenario, especially for those of us who consider our dogs family members (that’s over 90% of us, by the way). The bad news is that it happens every day… and the good news is that it doesn’t have to.
How often are pets stolen?
It’s tough to find reliable numbers on pet theft, as most states classify it under general property theft, but LA-based non-profit Last Chance for Animals estimates that about two million pets are stolen in the US every year.
WHY WOULD SOMEONE STEAL A DOG?
Believe it or not, most dognappings are financially motivated. Purebred dogs in particular are often re-sold to unsuspecting buyers for thousands of dollars. When they’re not sold to average pet owners, stolen dogs are often used in puppy mills for breeding or sold for other exploitative purposes.
ARE THERE LEGAL PROTECTIONS AGAINST PET THEFT?
Most states lack specific legislation surrounding pet theft. New York, Michigan and North Carolina are among states with pet-specific legal measures which include the possibility of jail time, but that application is fairly limited. Moreover, pet thefts are often deprioritized when it comes to filing police reports. Unfortunately, short of classifying pets as people, there isn’t much the law can do to reflect the deep sense of violation and loss a pet owner feels when their loved one is snatched away, never to be seen again.
ARE SOME DOGS MORE AT RISK THAN OTHERS?
Yes. Small, purebred dogs – like Yorkshire Terriers, Pomeranians, Malteses, and French Bulldogs — that are both easy to abscond with and fetch thousands of dollars in resale — tend to be stolen most frequently, but all dogs are at risk. Labradoodles are said to be high-value for dognappers, along with Pit Bulls, German Shepherds, and Labradors.
WHAT CAN I DO TO PREVENT DOGNAPPING?
The best way to keep your dog from getting snatched is to make sure he or she is secured at all times, whether on a leash or in a DogSpot. Dogs left alone in a yard or car or outside a store or restaurant are among the easiest for dognappers to steal. If you must go somewhere without your dog, make sure you don’t leave them unnecessarily exposed to danger.
How can businesses safely accommodate my dog?
DogSpot is a great way to prevent pet theft outside of storefronts. DogSpot is a first-of-its-kind pet amenity designed specifically to solve the dognapping problem. It is a smart, lockable sidewalk enclosure that can be placed outside of a storefront to provide a safe, comfortable, and climate-controlled place for dogs to be left unattended. Owners can even check in to see how dogs are doing on the Puppy Cam in the app. Perhaps most importantly, DogSpot is incredibly secure, keeping your furry loved one safe from theft while you’re out and about together.
Interested in making your business more dog friendly? We can help! Please fill out this form below to learn how to reserve a DogSpot for your business.
Chaining and Tethering Dogs: Humane Society
Table of State Dog Tether Laws
Chaining Dogs - PETA