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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
  • 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 or microchip information or on additional tips to safe guard your pet.

9 comments on “Stop Theft – Tips to Safeguard Your Pet

  1. Thanks for the info! My baby is a 6 year old Rottie who is just TOO cute & friendly..Im glad that he is, as hes my joy and my life. He has taught others that Rotties are sweet loving dogs, and that its how you raise them. Ive met sooo many people terrified of him, and after they’ve met him, they leave smiling, happy and asking if they can have him! At the same time TOO many people know he is so friendly, and Im terrified he will be stolen. He and my kitty are my CHILDREN, and I would die, or kill, for him. A few years ago, I was moving and packing up my van, and a van was driving up the street and saw him at the end of the driveway. My neighbor ran out as the vans door opened and they were trying to coax him to get in the van!! Recently, I had work done in the backyard, and the guy left with out telling me or locking the gate. I couldnt find my baby and started freaking out. He snuck out and was down the street! I know he would have come back, but still, anything could have happened. SO ALWAYS CHECK YOUR GATES! (I was so angry, as they KNEW he could use his nose to lift the latch and thats why I put a lock on it, yet they didnt bother to tell me they were leaving or to lock it behind them). Take care of your kids!!

  2. I have been reading this article again and was reminded how important it is to encourage folks to never leave their dogs outside of a store or restaurant. I still see this practice quite often. Recently I saw a dog become so frightened of the grating noise made by the faux pole it was tied to it ended up dragging the post all over the pier. I caught, loosed him and brought him back only to have the man who kept him become frustrated and act defensively. Digs do not understand that you will return in the “future” They are “live for the moment” friends. :)

  3. Remember the chip is only good if the owner of the dog registers the chip. It is VERY important to register the micro chip with the microchip company your vet/shelter uses. Also transfer of pet to another owner, chip info regarding ownership needs to be updaated with that microchip company too.

  4. Just a quick question. Is there not some way to protect your dog when it’s left in the car? I doubt many people want to give up taking their dogs with them driving somewhere they can’t take them in.
    Is there NO alarm that works these days?

  5. I recently bought a very expensive Rottweiler. I am putting up an electric fence and I want to have her a microchip put in, but if she is stolen the thief isn’t going take her to a vet. Is there a microchip that has built in GPS? At last that way I can find her.

  6. thanks so much for this info. I Will pass it on to all my friends… I have lost dogs in the past and never got them back.. From now on all my dogs will be microchiped from now on…

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