What Canine Homeowners Ought to Know About Dognapping – Dogster

Two million canine are stolen every year and about 10% are returned dwelling, in line with Petfinder.com. We name this dognapping — the crime of taking a canine from his proprietor, derived from the time period kidnapping.

All through the world, pets are stolen for quite a lot of causes, like being resold as a companion pet, to amassing rewards from distressed house owners or for combating in dogfights, simply to call a couple of. Within the final two and half years, there was a rise in canine thefts with a view to make fast cash by criminals trying to benefit from the elevated demand for canine companionship throughout the pandemic.

What are the highest canine stolen and from the place?

Based on the American Kennel Membership Vice-President of Public Relations, Brandi Hunter-Munden, a few of the high stolen canine within the Unites States are:

  • Yorkshire Terriers

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  • Boston Terriers
  • Chihuahuas
  • English Bulldogs
  • Shih-Tzus
  • Pit Bulls
  • French Bulldogs

Brandi notes that in previous years, unsuspecting house owners would depart canine of their yards for a couple of minutes for them to “do their enterprise” or tether their pets exterior a retailer to run a fast errand. “Now, we see many canine are stolen from inside houses, yards and vehicles in addition to being yanked from their house owners on the streets all through the nation,” she says.

Moreover, Brandi clarifies that “many of those breeds are stolen immediately from house owners as a result of they’re small, transportable, docile and don’t put up a fuss when snatched from their house owners.”

Who’re the victims of canine theft?

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Pet house owners usually are not the one victims of pet theft. Canine breeders are prime candidates, too. For breeders like Louisiana’s Patricia Sosa, there’s a ready checklist for her restricted provide of rigorously bred French Bulldog puppies. In her 30-plus yr love affair with the breed, she solely had one particular person steal a canine by writing a foul examine, nearly 15 years in the past.

“However in the previous couple of years, since many French Bulldogs have been stolen from pet house owners and breeders, I’ve needed to take severe, safety precautions,” Patricia says. She rigorously pre-screens candidates by way of cellphone and checks references earlier than she invitations potential canine house owners to her dwelling to view puppies.

“I by no means give them my tackle till the final doable minute with a view to shield myself, my dwelling and my puppies,” she explains. Moreover, earlier than inviting potential canine house owners into her dwelling, she explains to them that she has a safety system and community of cameras overlaying her dwelling, kennels and the remainder of the property. Lastly, she tells them that she has a guard canine — a Doberman that will probably be current whereas they’re visiting her premises. “Armed with this data, they’ll make the choice to return to my kennel,” she says.

However breeders usually are not the one ones to have canine stolen from them. Many pet shops all through the nation have skilled canine thefts for the reason that pandemic. In 2021, after two ladies entered a Texas pet retailer and requested to see a French Bulldog, the shop complied. As soon as the canine was of their arms, the 2 instantly ran out the door. Retailer staff shortly reported the incident and outline of the automobile to the police. Quickly after, the officers discovered the ladies allegedly trying to reattach the license plate they’d eliminated in preparation for the heist.

Do felony statutes and penalties fluctuate relating to K9 theft?

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Canines, and different companion animals, are at the moment classed as “property” in theft sentencing. Consequently, offenders who steal canine are given comparable sentences to those that steal inanimate objects. Sadly, most states take into account pet theft a misdemeanor, and the penalties embrace small fines and little-to-no jail time.

Solely round 15 states tackle canine theft of their felony codes. Whereas felony fees and penalties do fluctuate from state to state, California and Louisiana impose fees and penalties which can be primarily based on the financial worth of the stolen canine. Nonetheless, Virginia, Louisiana, Oklahoma, New York and Mississippi have extreme felony statutes. In these states, canine theft is a felony with six months to 10 years of jail time. Moreover, fines begin at $200 and may equate as much as 3 times the worth of the stolen animal, however not exceeding $500,000. Fairly a variety, too!

Animal advocates agree that penalties for canine theft ought to be extra extreme than that of stealing inanimate, non-living property. Latest research and case regulation have acknowledged that the animal-human bond is exclusive, and the implications of labeling a canine property is antiquated.

How can canine lovers assist?

The Animal Authorized Protection Fund, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit group, is an animal regulation advocacy group whose acknowledged mission is to guard the lives and advance the pursuits of animals via the authorized system. The group encourages animal lovers to take motion by lobbying native, state and authorities representatives and businesses to vary legal guidelines to guard animals.

If you need to assist enact extra state felony statutes, undertake harsher measures and better penalties in opposition to canine theft, manage and meet with like-minded canine house owners and work with animal rights organizations to vary pet theft legal guidelines.

One very last thing: In case you have had your pet stolen, be affected person, be diligent, be lively and don’t hand over. He could be returned to you.

Learn how to forestall canine theft

There are steps you’ll be able to take to make sure you and your canine usually are not a goal for dognapping.

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  1. Microchip your canine, register the microchip with the microchip company and preserve the knowledge up to date.
  2. Have your canine put on a collar together with your cellphone quantity and ID tag with related and present data, like your electronic mail tackle and the phrase “Reward.”
  3. Have your canine put on a GPS tracker that may observe your canine in actual time to find his whereabouts.
  4. Don’t go away breed doormats or dangle breed flags exterior your own home, as this serves as an commercial for thieves.
  5. Preserve all doorways locked and home windows closed when you’re not dwelling. Set up cameras in your house specializing in key entry and exit factors.
  6. Don’t go away your canine unattended exterior in your yard, in your automobile or tied up exterior a retailer.
  7. Be cautious of strangers who method you to speak about your canine. Don’t give them any details about the place you reside, how typically you stroll your canine or your canine’s identify.
  8. Attempt to stroll canine in daylight, barely various the time. Thieves search for constant dog-walking habits.
  9. Discover your atmosphere. Look ahead to parked vehicles in your space and take note of pedestrians, who simply don’t appear “to suit.”
  10. Preserve a watchful eye in your
    canine within the canine park and don’t stroll your canine off-leash in your neighborhood.

What to do in case your canine is stolen

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If dognapping does occur to you, take these steps instantly.

  1. Safety specialists agree that in case your canine is stolen, don’t attempt to chase the assailants or bounce within the automobile with them as a result of you may get badly injured and even shot.
  2. Write down as a lot as you’ll be able to keep in mind in regards to the thief or thieves and the getaway automobile.
  3. Name the police and file a report with as a lot detailed data as you’ll be able to keep in mind.
  4. Name your microchip firm so that individuals in your space will obtain a misplaced pet alert and be looking out.
  5. Attain out to native lacking pets and neighborhood teams on social media. Submit an image of your pet and describe him totally. Submit by yourself social feed to get the phrase out, too!
  6. Make a flyer together with face and physique photographs of your pet, providing a reward for data resulting in his secure restoration. Don’t point out that he was stolen, as there’s a risk the thief might wish to return him and keep away from prosecution. Submit flyers within the space, together with native canine parks or the place massive teams of individuals congregate.
  7. Contact the native veterinary workplaces, groomers, doggie daycares, boarding amenities and shelters, because the thieves would possibly wish to drop him there.
  8. Write a letter to native media shops (newspapers, radio and TV) together with an image and full description of your canine and an evidence of what occurred. Give them a heartfelt story about what your canine means to you. Should you discover out that different canine in your residential space have been stolen, embrace that. This may immediate them to report your story in addition to against the law wave of dognapping so residents will probably be looking out on your canine — and to watch out with their very own.
  9. Watch out for scammers who would possibly name you for the reward or ask for cash to return your canine.
  10. Often overview on-line postings for pet adoptions and pet gross sales.
  11. Don’t hand over!

Why some pups are dognapped greater than others

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A number of the contributing components as to why some canine are stolen greater than others is that the fascinating breeds of as we speak are uncommon, stylish and tough to get one’s arms on, particularly the French Bulldog — a breed that may be a main candidate for theft.

“Frenchies have been develop into stylish as a consequence of their social media presence, particularly on Instagram, in addition to their breed’s illustration, which could be discovered on sheets, sweaters, cellphone instances and in advert campaigns,” says Brandi Hunter-Munden, AKC vp of public relations.

One other contributing issue to the breed’s reputation is that many French Bulldogs are owned by notable celebrities like Girl Gaga (who have been famously and violently dognapped in 2021), Dwayne Johnson, Leonardo DiCaprio, Martha Stewart, Snoop Dogg, Madonna and Reese Witherspoon. And, with a hefty price ticket — beginning at $4K and up, there may be an implied elite standing from proudly owning this breed.

Within the case of French Bulldogs, the demand outweighs the provision and that have to be figured into the rationale why the breed is a first-rate contender for being stolen. French Bulldogs have smaller litters, providing a restricted provide for such a voracious demand.

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