Stop Theft – Tips to Safeguard Your Pet
What steps can be taken to ensure you’re beloved pet is not a victim of dog theft? PetPartners, Inc., the provider of the AKC Pet Healthcare Plan asked the AKC Companion Animal Recovery for tips on how to safeguard your pet. Listed below are tips to keep your pet safe.
In Your Neighborhood
- Don’t let your dog off-leash – Keeping your dog close to you reduces the likelihood it will wander off and catch the attention of thieves.
- Don’t leave your dog unattended in your yard – Dogs left outdoors for long periods of time are targets, especially if your fenced-in yard is visible from the street.
- Be cautious with information – If strangers approach you to admire your dog during walks, don’t answer questions about how much the dog cost or give details about where you live.
On the Road
- Never leave your dog in an unattended car, even if it’s locked – Besides the obvious health risks this poses to the dog, it’s also an invitation for thieves, even if you are gone for only a moment. Leaving expensive items in the car such as a GPS unit or laptop will only encourage break-ins and possibly allow the dog to escape, even if the thieves don’t decide to steal it too.
- Don’t tie your dog outside a store – This popular practice among city-dwelling dog owners can be a recipe for disaster. If you need to go shopping, patronize only dog-friendly retailers or leave the dog at home.
In the event that your dog does end up missing, listed below are steps you can take to recover your dog.
- Protect your dog with microchip identification – Collars and tags can be removed so make sure you have permanent ID with a microchip. Thieves will not know the dog has a microchip until a veterinarian or shelter worker scans it so keep contact information current with your microchip recovery service provider. For more information, enroll your pet in a 24-hour recovery service and sign-up at www.akccar.org.
- If you suspect your dog has been stolen – Immediately call the police / animal control officer in the area your pet was last seen and file a police report. If your dog has a microchip, ask to have that unique serial number, along with the dog’s description, posted in the “stolen article” category on the National Crime Information Center.
- Canvass the neighborhood – Talk to people in the immediate vicinity where your pet went missing for possible sightings of the actual theft.
- Have fliers with a recent photo ready to go if your dog goes missing – Keep several current photos (profile and headshot) of your dog in your wallet or on an easily accessible web account so that you can distribute immediately if your pet goes missing.
- Contact the media – Call the local TV station, radio station and newspaper and ask to have a web post put out about your missing pet.
If you would like more information on AKC Companion Animal Recovery, please visit their website at www.akccar.org or microchip information or on additional tips to safe guard your pet.