How To Stop A Dog Thief

Globally, dog theft has been on the rise for the past few
years. So if you think your dog isn’t at risk… you may want to

Dog theft is devastating to loving pet owners.  It can bring
your life to a standstill and can cause devastating depression.

Let us face it, it is sad enough to lose a dog to old age and
disease, sometimes via the difficult decision of euthanasia. 
Losing your dog to a THIEF… not knowing where he is, if he’s
safe, if he’s even still alive? It would be torture.

Unfortunately, real numbers and statistics of pet and dog theft
are hard to find.  In most countries, the United States of America,
the United
, and even Australia dogs are considered property.  Many
times, the only viable statistics available come from those who
report these thefts to their insurance companies.  Think of how
many dog owners and pet owners don’t ever consider filing a claim
and you will realize how little we truly know about dog theft
around the world.

However, the little information that we do have shows us two
very frightening facts.

#1.  Pet and dog theft is a gateway (or first sign) of
animal cruelty and/or torture.

#2.  Certain dog breeds are more
at risk to be stolen from their owners in certain places or areas
of the world.  
French Bulldogs, Pit Bulls, American
Staffordshire Bull Terriers, Bull Terriers (think Spuds Mackenzie),
Yorkshire Terriers, Siberian Huskies, Chihuahuas, and even
Labradoodles, as well as purebred Retrievers, make the list.

Rarely is the sheriff’s office called, and even when the
sheriff’s office or police department is contacted, the act can
seldom be proven.  Thankfully with the invention of cheap and easy
to use home video systems, these crimes are being caught on camera
more often.

Different states have different laws but most dog theft or pet
theft does not qualify as a
or grand theft in the third degree.  If the value of the
pet is over five hundred to over one thousand dollars in some
states it may qualify as grand theft versus petty theft (which is
often only a misdemeanor); making the penalties higher if the
individual can be or is caught and the case can be proven.

Reasons Criminals Steal Dogs Monetary Reasons

Yes, it is sad but it is true.  Many times, immoral people and
drug addicts steal things that will help them to profit and or fuel
their illegal habits.

How often have you seen “Lost†or “Missing†pet signs,
around your neighborhood, that offer a large sum of cash as a

Sadly, especially in affluent or wealthy neighborhoods dogs and
other pets can become targets as a means to make quick money.

Purebred dogs often can be sold for thousands of dollars and
distraught pet and dog owners will often pay more than what they
are worth to get their beloved pet back.

Puppies are even more at risk, because they are easily
“flipped†or resold for profit.

Stolen dogs can be big business.

Research Institutions

Wicked people looking for easy money often target pets left
outside, go to animal shelters, animal auctions and take pets
offered “free to a good home†and sell them to research
institutions that offer money for animals that they can conduct
research on with very little financial output.

Although research institutions try to avoid stolen dogs,
especially on paper, many stolen dogs are taken to these places for

Bait Dogs

Dogs are often stolen or adopted off Craigslist or from shelters
to be sold as “bait dogs†for the illegal world of

Wretchedly, the world of dogfighting is very profitable and
still exists all over the world.  Don’t believe me?  Volunteer at
your local shelter and you will see the wounded and scarred Pit
Bulls and other fighting breeds come in and be held until their
court case works through the system.  Most often these dogs are
euthanized before even given a chance to go up for adoption due to
animal aggression issues (as you can well imagine).

In the beginning, in order to get these fighting breeds to
adequately and vigorously fight one another to the death they
introduce them to much weaker dogs that are easily killed; “bait
dogs.† This process builds their confidence and often makes them
more willing to fight.

Bait dogs can be sold to people who profit from dog fights (yes,
there is big money in this underground and illegal enterprise). 
Remember the worldwide attention quarterback Michael
received when it was discovered (while investigating
another crime) that his Pit Bull “breeding†kennel “Bad Newz
Kennels†was involved in dogfighting and illegal gambling?  In
2006, just one year before charges were filed Michael Vick was the
highest-paid NFL player.

Gambling purses alone went for upwards of $26,000, which is a
lot of money.  According to witnesses Vick and his other cohorts
were known to laugh when their trained fighting Pit Bulls killed
pet dogs.

Regrettably, the world of dogfighting exists and is still big
business and gambling in and around the world.

Insurance Fraud

Yes, this also exists although probably to a smaller extent.

When I was a young, young dog trainer, I knew a breeder of
Cocker Spaniels.  They happened to have a very rare color within
their breed.  Oddly they bragged about the color and how they had
taken out pet insurance on the puppy.

Oddly enough, their puppy died suddenly and they used the
insurance money to buy a $20,000 boat.

And, although this is rarely a reason for dog theft (unless a
third party is paid), it is still something that sticks in my mind
when it comes to pet insurance.

As far as I know, it was never proven as insurance fraud.  But,
to this day I have my doubts that the death of the puppy was

Other Reasons, Beyond Financial Gain Animal Torture and Abuse

As we are well aware due to many studies in modern psychology,
animal torture, cruelty, and abuse is linked to antisocial behavior
and severe and disturbing mental disorders.  Alarmingly, the act of
animal torture and cruelty is known to psychologists as
“Intentional Animal Torture and Cruelty†(IATC)
.  There are
many types of Intentional Animal Torture and Cruelty including
religious sacrifice, artistic sacrifice, psychopathic personality
disorders (zoosadism), or sexual disorders.

In the 1970s when behavior profiling was in its infancy one of
the most consistent findings of the Federal Bureau of Investigation
was that Intentional Animal Torture and Cruelty was seen as a
common behavior, in childhood, of early serial murderers and

I really hate to go into this more, as just doing the research
for this article sickens me; but let me assure you that this kind
of behavior still exists in the human or inhumane world of humans
and neighborhood pets are often used as a likely source because
they are easily available.

Stealing To Get The Dog You Can’t Buy (Or Afford)

Yes, it seems ridiculous; but some people steal pets or
specifically purebred dogs because they cannot afford to buy the
dog that they want.

You can search the Internet and find videos of often women
sticking pure breed puppies in their purse or shirt and walking out
of pet shops and pet stores.  These puppies are often upwards of

Sometimes the thieves think that they are giving the stolen dog
a better life.  And, honestly sometimes stolen dogs get just

I am embarrassed to admit that I have known people who have
stolen dogs.  These dogs were often chained outside day in and day
out; sometimes they were left with no shelter and no food or
water.  I can think of one I used to drive by every day when I
lived in GA.  I watched him grow from a puppy into an adult.  He
had barely a shelter and animal control wouldn’t do anything
about his conditions.  Never did he get to go inside; EVER. 
Someone in the animal community took him to give him a new lease on
life while he was still a year or so old.

I have often seen a Pit Bull that is my best friend’s
neighbor’s dog.  He also is never invited inside and sits outside
no matter how cold or rainy it is in our climate.  I wish I could
steal him and give him a better life.  A life where he can actually
have a “pack†and a loving human and the food and shelter and
warm bed that he desires.

Pet theft and dog theft comes in many forms.

Although all are illegal.  You judge what falls in the
parameters of morally acceptable and what is not.

At least dogs thieved to be personal pets are more likely to
have a better chance at life than other dogs or companion animals
that are stolen.

The truth is, good pet owners never want their dog to be on that
list of stolen dogs that the police or insurance company has to

So let us talk about how to keep our dogs safe!

Protect Your Dog from Dog Theft Secure Your Area

The first thing to keep in mind is to secure your area.  Make
sure that you have locks to lock your fence.  Wooden fences provide
more security and keep neighbors and passers-by from being able to
see your dogs.

Wooden fences also keep dogs from being reactive and overexcited
because they limit what they can visually see.

Keep An Eye on Him

Don’t put your dog outside for hours on end, even if he likes
to go outside be sure that you keep an eye on him.

Every 20 minutes or so check on him and make sure that he is
still in your yard and safely secured.

No Signs

Although many people believe that they should get signs that
announce their dog’s presence in their home or in their yard;
these signs may actually do more harm than good.

“Dog on Premises† or “Warning Guard Dog†signs simply
alert would-be thieves to the fact that you own a dog!

If you want to keep someone from breaking into your home, I
suggest that you use a security system sign or an alert to video

Don’t Leave Your Dog Outside While You Are Gone

Dogs left outside for hours at a time and especially dogs left
outside while their owners are gone make perfect targets.

These are the dogs that often bark (which alerts the neighbors
to them being alone and can also irritate neighbors).  Dogs left
outside consistently make easy marks for would-be thieves who may
be “casing†or watching for dogs that would be easy to

Leave your dog secured inside while you are gone to keep him

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Tools If The Unthinkable Happens Microchip

Microchips are easy and will keep shelters are research
companies from accepting a stolen dog or cat.  Nowadays, microchip
readers are also universal so that owners can be tracked down no
matter what microchip company the pet owner chooses.

Your veterinary hospital will be happy to microchip your

But, please, please, please register the microchip and keep it
up to date when you move.  There are thousands of microchips that
go unregistered and an unregistered microchip is as good as not
having one at all!


There are some places that will also tattoo your pet.  Many show
dogs are not only microchipped but additionally tattooed with their
owner’s social security number so that the owner can easily be
tracked down.

Tips for tattooing is NOT to tattoo the ear of the dog.  As sick
as it sounds, ears can be cut off and dogs can still be turned in
for money or financial gain.

Those who tattoo their dogs usually use their social security
number and have the tattoo put on the thigh of the dog where it
will be easily seen and identified on exam.

GPS Collar

GPS collars can also give you information if your pet goes
missing.  You can track down the time the dog was taken and if the
would-be thief is not astute he might not realize that the collar
has a GPS locator.

Video Surveillance

Thanks to modern technology and the ability to mass-produce
technology for the masses camera systems like the “Ring†are
often now used both outside the home and inside the home to keep
theft at bay.

As with any crime, make sure that your dog’s yard and his
space is also under surveillance.

Criminals avoid video surveillance like the plague and
sentencing and proof is much easier if you have the crime caught on

It is always best when your home and your equipment can help you
avoid having crime or getting the police involved.

Neighborhood Watch

A neighborhood with a good and active neighborhood watch will
keep many criminals at bay.

There are also lots of pets alliance groups that you can look
into in your area.  These groups will help keep your beloved pets
safe and in their home.

Help Change Laws

Many people are afraid of the government taking away their
rights and becoming involved in our lives.  I for one, agree.
However, I would like to see laws change, and thankfully they are
slowly changing.  Pets and animals are slowly evolving from
“property†into sentient animals.  A sentient animal is an
animal that is capable of being that has interests and is aware of
its environment.  It feels hunger, heat, cold, and has desires and
wants.  It is an animal that is capable of feelings.  Pets are not
inanimate objects or property.  Pets have feelings and shouldn’t
be abused or tortured any more than humans should suffer the same

Pets are not property, they are way more important than any
motor vehicle that can easily be replaced.  Property can be
disposed of and abused at will.  Police should be involved with
animal cruelty and abuse because this is a predictive crime.

We need laws that keep our pets safe from abuse, if not just for
the animal’s safety but also to identify human sociopaths and

The law should swiftly deal with animal abuse and neglect with a
stern hand.  Empathy and kindness should be our goal when dealing
with sentient animals.  After all, they have feelings too.

Support legislation that gives our companion animals and other
animals rights to be treated humanely.

Looking to get involved contact your local kennel club.  Kennel
clubs often know about what is going on in their area and can put
you in contact with great people.  Rescue groups can also be a
wealth of information.

Be Careful What Non-profit You Support

Not all not for-profit or 501(c)(3) organizations are created
equally.  Not all animal welfare organizations or even humane
society groups do what they say.

Some of these animal nonprofits are more like cults.

I remember when I was 18 and one very well-known animal rights
organization was strongly opposed to showing dogs in conformation. 
At the time I was involved in the conformation world with my male
Rottweiler.  My intent was never to breed him, but to show the
world his beauty and perfect physical conformation.  This said
animal rights group was going to prestigious conformation events
and poisoning dogs… because they felt that the dogs lived abusive
or sad lives.

I can say wholeheartedly, that some do.  Some of these dogs are
not much more than livestock being paraded around to win trophies
so that their owners can charge more money for puppies.  But, many
of the dogs were like mine; well-loved family pets that wen home
and lived happy and prosperous lives.  I for one have NEVER bred
one of my dogs no matter what title they have won.  I enter into
the dog show world only to compete alongside the best with my happy

Do your research!  If you are going to support an animal rights
organization financially or otherwise make sure that you know the
ins and outs of their ethics.

I am not one for putting anyone on blast but PETA is known for
their extremist views and the killing of animals.

The truth is that dog theft is a big problem throughout the
world.  But there are simple steps that you can take to educate
yourself about the act itself and why it is profitable and then
ways that you can keep your dog from becoming a statistic!

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How To Stop A Dog Thief