We chain up our bicycles, lock our cars and double latch our front doors in order to protect ourselves and our property. But people often leave the thing most important to them out in the open, ripe for the taking — our dogs.
It's not something many people think about but there are several reasons dogs may be targeted by thieves.
Dogs, especially expensive purebreds, can be easily resold on the online or even held for ransom. Even worse, there have been reported cases of dogs being sold to dog fighting rings or laboratories.
The Wallingford neighborhood blog, Wallyhood reported that dognappings are on the rise in the neighborhood — not exactly what you would expect an area of Seattle where dogs seem to outnumber people.
In the last year, two boxer puppies were dognapped from a resident's yard and last week, Stella, a rat terrier, was taken from the front of Durn Good grocery. Stella's master, Jai Williamson owns the grocery store, and the small dog was always hanging around the store, greeting shoppers.
Surveillance take showed a woman in a late model green pick-up truck with a black canopy snatched Stella.
The dogs have all be returned to their grateful owners, but Wally Pets owner Paul Brown told Wallyhood that he recently heard about two other attempted dognapping incidents.
One attempt was made at QFC and the other at Bartell Drugs. The owners had left their pets tied up outside.
According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), approximately 224 dogs have been reported stolen so far this year. That number is up significantly from the 150 stolen in the same 7-month period last year.
"We are getting reports almost daily of pets stolen during home invasions, out of parked cars while people are running errands and even snatched from dog lovers out for a walk in the park," AKC spokesperson Lisa Peterson said.
One way dog owners are protecting their furry friends is by implanting microchips. This way if a stolen dog is scanned at a vet or shelter, they can be traced back to their real owner.
In addition to microchipping your dog, the AKC suggests keeping your dog on leash, never leaving it unattended in your yard or vehicle and not leaving it tied it up outside a store or restaurant.
Finally, if you enroll your pet in the AKC’s Pet Recovery Service you and your pet will be registered in a national database. You can even set it up to that you receive a text message if your dog is found.