According to National Today, “Pet Theft Awareness Day is February 14, the day of love, and of course, the love we have for our fur babies. With care for our four-legged friends, we observe Pet Theft Awareness Day to shed light on the disgraceful act of pet theft.” They add that “Last Chance for Animals, a non-profit dedicated to the rehabilitation of animals, has led the movement against pet theft for over two decades. Ever since its creation in 1984 by actor Chris DeRose, the foundation has raised awareness about dos and don’ts of pet safety.” Today, we’re discussing National Pet Theft Awareness Day & how to protect pets as pet theft rates rise.
National Pet Theft Awareness Day & How To Protect Pets: Why are Pets Stolen
Pets are stolen for many reasons. Sometimes, thieves see the opportunity to take a pet as a way to acquire an expensive breed as their own. More commonly, however, thefts aim to get money out of distraught families. In these scenarios, the thief takes the pet, the family posts a reward, and the thief cashes in once the pet is returned. While we would never blame families for offering no-questions-asked-rewards, they, unfortunately, tend to encourage these cruel schemes.
In other cases, thieves take desirable breeds to sell them for profit. These thieves sell a stolen pet, often unaltered puppies, to an unsuspecting family, a breeder who will breed it time and again, or a laboratory that is looking to test on the species. Worst of all, some thieves steel dogs to sell to dog fighting operations and other sadists.
National Pet Theft Awareness Day & How To Protect Pets: Cats & Pet Theft
Indoor Cats & Pet Theft
Indoor cats are usually safe from pet theft unless they get out of the house. A cat that escapes and can’t find their way home is vulnerable to theft because domesticated kitties may approach strangers when they are hungry. For this reason, it’s important to watch your doorways, windows, etc. and have a plan in place that prevents cat loss.
Indoor/Outdoor Cats & Pet Theft
Indoor/outdoor cats are more susceptible to theft, among other dangers. We, therefore, encourage all our clients to keep cats strictly indoors. Indoor/outdoor cats have just enough domestication that they may be more confident in and around strangers, which could get them into trouble. Pet thieves will, of course, use a pet’s trust and hunger to their advantage.
Preventing Pet Theft in Cats
By ensuring your cat is spayed or neutered, you’ll reduce their desire to leave the house to mate. Further, keeping a collar with an ID tag on your cat will inform anyone that finds him that your cat is an indoor pet. ID tags also provide your contact information so that good samaritans can help your pet make his way home. Additionally, microchips are an excellent layer of protection should your cat’s collar slips off while they are lost.
National Pet Theft Awareness Day & How To Protect Pets: Dogs & Pet Theft
Dogs & Pet Theft
Dogs are most susceptible to pet theft. We’re sure you’ve heard the term “dognapping,” and, while the term sounds old-timey, it’s still very much a problem. Just last month in Houston, an emotional support dog was stolen right out of its owner’s car. Thankfully, the dog was returned but not without a lot of grief and fear for all involved.
In addition to being stolen from unsecured vehicles, dogs are stolen from yards, outside of stores, off-leash in parks and trails, and when they get out of their home or yard. It only takes a second to grab a dog and go off running. And, many dog thieves in pairs. Their partner is often waiting in a car to drive off before the owner notices their dog missing.
Preventing Pet Theft in Dogs
First and foremost, unsupervised dogs are at the greatest risk for theft. Never leave your dog in your yard, in public, or in your car unsupervised. Even dogs that are in yards with privacy fences can be stolen. Motivated thieves will climb gates and fences if need-be.
When in outdoor events or recreation areas with your dog, keep them on their leash. Always ensure your dog is wearing a properly sized harness and collar with ID tags. And, microchip your dog.
Finally, reconsider letting your pet off-leash. Whether it’s a dognapper or a coyote, off-leash dogs can encounter dangerous situations. This also applies to adventure cats that join in walks and hikes.
National Pet Theft Awareness Day & How To Protect Pets: What To Do
If you catch someone stealing your pet, contact 911. If you suspect that your dog has been stolen, contact your local police department’s non-emergency number to file a report. Next, contact animal control and/or your local animal shelters to report your pet missing.
Next, visit your local lost pets page or group on Facebook. Katy and its environs has a number of lost and found pet groups and pages. One of the most popular is Lost Found & Adoptable Pets, which has over 22,000 members. To find a lost pet group near you, simply use the Facebook search bar and type lost pet and your city. You should get a number of groups in results. Always use a recent photo and description of your pet when posting to these groups. Remembering the color of your pet’s collar, leash, harness, etc. is helpful to those who want to join in the search.
While technology is immensely helpful in reuniting lost pets with their loved ones, old fashioned lost pet posters are also worth considering. Make sure your poster has as many physical details about your pet as possible. Including your name and contact information. Then, get a group together to canvas the neighborhood while posting flyers in visible areas.
Per Last Chance for Animals, “Be aware of scams! People may claim to have your pet and insist on a reward before turning the animal over to you. If a stranger calls saying they’ve found your pet, make sure they give you a very detailed description of your pet.”
National Pet Theft Awareness Day: How Animal Admiration Prevents Pet Theft
At Animal Admiration Pet Sitting, we are very much aware of the potential for pet theft and loss. We work hard to minimize risk during our visits. For this reason, we encourage you to cancel all landscaping, cleaning, and home maintenance services while you’re traveling. Allowing us to be the only service provider in your home while you’re away ensures your pet’s safety. When we are the only service provider on the premises, we have eyes on each of your pets and know that they are safe between visits. We also encourage you to close doggie doors when we’re scheduled, especially if your pet is a flight risk or have service providers coming. By minimizing potential loss, you also minimize pet theft.
To learn about the many ways in which Animal Admiration Pet Sitting reduces your pet’s risk while in our care and discuss the benefits of our in-home pet care services, contact us at email@example.com or (281) 391-1015. Our team of dedicated pet care providers offers quality care pet sitting and dog walking in Katy, Fulshear, Richmond, Energy Corridor, Memorial, West Houston, and Cypress. We look forward to hearing from you!