Launched in 1988. Pet Theft Awareness Day is meant to call attention to the importance of pet identification methods. It is a day for considering just how much the presence of an animal can enrich a family and also the responsibility that goes with it. It is a day that encourages those with pets to take steps to ensure the animal’s security and their own peace of mind.
WHY DO THIEVES TARGET PETS?
1. Bait dogs and laboratory dogs
This is every dog guardian’s worst nightmare. Indeed people involved in dog fighting will gather “bait” dogs to be used as training tools for fighting dogs. It happens in both urban and rural areas, and there has been no measurable decline in dog fighting in recent years. Despite some legislation intended to stop the sale of undocumented dogs to research laboratories, under-the-table sales continue — and, in some countries, these exchanges are not considered a crime.
2. Financially motivated theft
“For the first time ever we’ve seen a trend now where shelters are being broken into and purebred and mixed breed dogs are being stolen,” said Lisa Peterson, spokesperson for the American Kennel Club. In fact, any purebred dog, particularly puppies, is considered a high-value commodity. Even with a microchip, it’s often too late when a pet buyer discovers that they have purchased a stolen dog. By then, the thief is long gone.
3. Emotionally driven theft
What’s often overlooked are the emotionally motivated crimes that rob dogs of their families. This can happen because the perpetrator feels that a dog is not being properly cared for. Some animal lovers will feel justified in stealing a dog that is tied in front of a store or who gets loose one day. Other times it’s an act of revenge, and, in many cases, a former romantic partner is considered the prime suspect.
Whatever the scenario or the motivation, dog guardians can best protect their dogs with watchfulness. Never leave a dog unattended. Secure your home, including all doors and windows, to the best of your ability and budget. And be wary of strangers in your neighborhood at all times.