Pet Theft Awareness Day was created by the organization Last Chance for Animals in 1988 to raise awareness of pet theft and teach the public how to keep their animals safe from unscrupulous thieves.
Pet theft is a scourge. Every day, unfortunately, a number of ads are posted on the social media of people who have lost their most precious of all, their beloved dog or cat. The pets that are usually stolen are dogs, but they can also be cats, parrots and any other animal.
Stealing a pet can happen in a matter of seconds. The thieves can pick them up from your yard or porch, if you tied them up outside the store unattended or they roamed freely on a walk in the park. Most pet thefts are not reported, so it is difficult to know how many dogs and cats are stolen each year, but according to the number of posts in the Facebook groups of lost dogs and cats, it can be seen that this is a large number.
Common Causes of Pet Theft (Warning: Unpleasant Content)
Reward: One of the most common reasons for pet theft is when dogs are stolen for sale for profit. Stolen dogs are usually sold to innocent new owners, or to pirate breeders who breed and breed in their backyard purebred dogs whose offspring can be sold. Dogs raised by backyard breeders or so-called "puppy grinders" do not receive proper veterinary care and are often forced to live in appalling living conditions.
Bait or fighting in dog fights: Another shocking phenomenon is to use dogs in fights between them when people gamble money on the dogs. Sometimes small dogs and cats are stolen to serve as bait for dogs to fight among themselves.
How to protect your pets from theft?
Never underestimate. Just as you will never leave a baby or small child unattended, so too with your dog or cat. Always keep them at home, especially when you are not around. Do not leave your animals unattended in the yard. It only takes thieves a minute to steal them away. Don't leave your dog in the car alone.
Take care to identify your pets: Implant a chip at a veterinarian and wear them a collar that has a tag with your name and phone in case the dog or cat manages to escape and gets into the hands of someone who wants to help.
Make sure your pets are spayed or neutered; Neutered and spayed animals are less likely to move away from home to roam and be at risk of extinction.
Make sure you have up-to-date photos of your pets, just in case you need to find them. Make sure their licenses are valid.
Be aware of strangers in your area and report anything unusual, such as suspicious neighborhood activities or a wave of missing pets, to local police and animal control.
What to do if your pet is missing?
Call the police; If your pet has been stolen, ask to file a report to have a record of the theft. Animal theft is illegal and a complaint can be lodged with the police.
Post notices of pet disappearance wherever possible on social media. Add an up-to-date photo and every identifying detail like a collar, special spots, and a description of the dog's behavior toward strangers, so that if someone finds him, he can capture him for you and hold him until you get to pick him up.
Hang in your neighborhood and wherever the dog may reach "lost" ads with an up-to-date picture of your dog or cat along with your exact contact information.
Contact animal welfare organizations.
Be aware of scams! People may claim to have your pet and insist on a reward before handing it over to you. If a stranger calls and says he has found your pet, make sure he gives you a very detailed description of your pet and sends a picture of him.
One more thing - if you see a dog roaming free on the street, report it on social media for its owner to pick it up and keep it, or if you can, keep it until its owner arrives and explain to them how dangerous it is to let a dog roam the street alone when dog theft is so common.