It’s unimaginable to think someone would want to steal your best friend. Sadly it does happen, for reasons such as resale, animal research, fur, or even dog fighting. Thieves may steal pets from the street, from yards, or from cars, even if you’re just gone for a minute.
Fortunately, there are many ways you can increase your pet’s safety to prevent these tragedies.
Do Not Leave Pets Unattended
This is the most important precaution you can take. Situations in which pets are vulnerable include:
- Leaving your dog tied up outside.
- Letting your pet into a yard where it is visible from the street.
- Leaving your pet unattended in a car with the windows down, or doors unlocked (although there is a point to make about never leaving pets in a car).
- If your pet wanders off, for instance an off-leash dog or outdoors cat.
- Always provide supervision for pets that are outside.
- Keep your cat inside and your dog on a leash.
- Do not leave your pet in the car. The only way to keep them safe while within a car is to have all windows rolled up and the doors locked, which is unfair to the animal. If you know you’re traveling to a destination in which you will be unable to have your pets with you, leave your pets at home.
- When running errands, leave your dog at home.
- Keep your gate locked when your pets are outside.
It is worth noting that, while all pets are at risk, purebred dogs require extra vigilance, as they have greater value.
ID/Microchip Your Pet
Every pet should have a collar and tag with up-to-date contact information in case they stray from home. Collars can of course be removed, but a microchip is the most effective way to track your pet, and can be done quickly, affordably, and easily by the vet.
If the animal will gets away from the thief, or the thief lets them go, they will still be lost. If someone finds them, or they make their way to an animal shelter, a microchip is essential for returning them back to their loving home.
Of course, keeping your pet up-to-date on all vaccinations is extremely important at all times, but especially if they go missing.
Be Careful Who You Leave Your Pets With
When going away, the options for leaving your pet include:
- Family or friends
- Professional kennels
- Pet sitters or dog walkers
Not everyone who says they will care for your pet is trustworthy. The best choice is family or friends, but if that’s not a possibility then make sure you choose a reputable pet sitter, kennel, or dog walker who is preferably part of a larger company or service.
Many pet thefts happen when the owner is only away for a short period of time. It doesn’t mean the owners are careless. We all love our pets, and hopefully these tips will help you do all you can to keep your furry friend safe and sound.