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Preventing Pet Theft

By Robin Tierney

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The following has been condensed from the article, "Protect Your Dog from Loss or Theft," at www.hua.org/Important/theft.html. This Hearts United for Animals webpage was found by PAW volunteer Lynne Keffer.

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According to Hearts United for Animals, an estimated 1.5 million dogs and cats are stolen every year in this country. "Bunchers" roam streets and back roads in search of dogs to sell to laboratories or for other purposes. Here are some suggestions for protecting your dog:

  1. Do not let your dog roam.
  2. Check the security of your yard. The only safe fence is one that protects your dog from anyone who would try to come into your yard.
  3. Even with a fenced yard, supervise your dog outside. Dogs should not be left outside when their people are not home.
  4. Keep current photos of your dog in case he ever winds up missing.
  5. Keep i.d. tags with your up-to-date address and phone number on your dog at all times. Tip: displaying the word "REWARD" can give people more incentive to call you.
  6. While tattooing is a useful type of i.d., it does not substitute for a tag. And be careful where you have a dog tattooed; some dogs have had tattooed ears cut off.
  7. Microchip your dog in addition to using an i.d. tag. AVID is one popular type of microchip. Ask your vet about microchipping, which usually costs about $30 to $35.
If your dog is missing: Another helpful website on the topic is www.stolenpets.com sponsored by the Last Chance for Animals rescue organization. This site also includes information on the proposed Pet Safety and Protection Act, with a sample letter and contact information to use if you'd like to support this legislation. The website notes that the Pet Safety and Protection Act amends the Animal Welfare Act to prohibit Class B dealers, who obtain the animals from "random sources," from supplying cats and dogs to research facilities. Many of these animals may be stolen pets, strays, seized shelter animals, or obtained through "free to good home" ads. The Act is sponsored by Senators Daniel Akaka and Bob Smith.

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For more of Robin's Dog Tips, see the index at  www.paw-rescue.org

Partnership for Animal Welfare
P.O. Box 1074, Greenbelt, MD 20768

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Last Updated: January 24, 2017 (LET) PawSupport