September 30, 2013

Dognapping in Chicagoland – How to Protect Your Pet

Author: Gail Brasie

Dognapping On The Rise, In Chicagoland

iStock_000017717328XSmallDognapping—or stealing a dog with the intent on returning it for ransom, or reselling it to unsuspecting buyers, has been escalating in the Chicagoland area in recent years.  

 According to the American Kennel Club, which has been keeping statistics on reported dognappings, rates of this crime are growing every year.

Dogs are often taken out of cars and simply scooped up when they’re tied outside a store or coffee shop. Unattended dogs in yards, often attached to the property only by a lead-line, are also easy pickings for thieves, who know how to move very quickly to snatch up a dog. Even dogs in fenced-in yards are not entirely safe if they are unattended, however the most common ways dogs are stolen is off the street or from cars.

Similar to this is something called pet flipping, where a criminal will take a dog, often posing as the owner in response to “lost dog” ads and then sell the pet for cash. Pure-bred dogs are preferred by criminals because they fetch higher prices, and also because they can be used in breeding.

Taking safety precautions can greatly reduce the likelihood that your dog will be snatched: 

  • Do not leave your dog tethered in an unfenced yard
  • Do not leave your dog out unattended even in a yard that is fenced
  • Do not leave your dog in the car
  • Do not tie your dog outside stores while you’re on errands
  • Microchip or tattoo your pup!

Criminals ransom dogs because they know you’ll be willing to pay great amounts of money to get your dog back home. And if they can’t ransom your dog, they’ll turn around and sell it to someone else. Don’t make it easy for these types of people to be successful at dognapping—take precautions, and guard your pets like they were your own children. The world should be safe enough where you don’t have to add dognapping to your list of worries, but unfortunately it’s not, and there are people out there who will not hesitate to take your dog if they think they can profit from it.


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