The American Kennel Club, which has been tracking pet thefts since 2007, reported a 32% increase in dog thefts last year.
The ASPCA recommends the following to protect your pet:
- When running errands around town, visit pet-friendly establishments or leave your dog at home.
- Keep a close eye on your pet in designated off-leash areas, where he or 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 loved one.