How Common is Dog Theft?
It used to be not uncommon for a dog owner to die his or her dog to a pole or bench outside of a store so that the dog owner could shop without fear of someone stealing his or her dog. It was a real threat that a thief could steal the dog while the owner was away inside the store.
Nowadays it’s not so commonplace to see a dog tied up outside as there is a harsher punishment for theft of personal possessions (dogs) and is equivalent to theft of someone’s cell phone.
What Can I Do to Keep My Dog Safe?
It is recommended to implant a microchip into your dog with fully up-to-date information. No surgery or anesthesia is required and the microchip can be implanted during a regular veterinary visit with your dog.
Implanting the microchip is not any more painful than an injection for the dog. The microchip should contain your dog’s identification numbers.
How Does the Microchip Help Get My Dog Back to Me?
If your dog is lost and taken to a vet’s office, they will scan your dog for its microchip and they can find out right away that you are his or her owner and can return your pet to you.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AMVA), out of more than 7,700 stray pets, dogs with microchips were returned at least half of the time to their proper owners, whereas dogs without microchips were only retrieved properly about a fifth of the time.
For the pets with microchips that were returned to incorrect owners, it was usually the case that the owner information in the microchips was either missing or not up-to-date.
Worst Case Scenario
If your dog is stolen for real, it is a good idea to contact the police, the microchip company, and vets and to show them the best photos of your dog you’ve taken.
If you can, you might find it advantageous to offer a monetary reward for bringing your dog back to you. It is more likely one of these parties will bring your dog back to you as soon as possible if you offer a reward.
Why Does Dog Theft Happen in the First Place?
Unfortunately, a consequence of dog owners offering rewards for successfully retrieving their dogs is that there is a motivation for dog thieves to steal unattended dogs and obtain the rewards for returning them to their owners.