preventing pet theft

preventing pet theft

Written By

Lisa Anderson Shaffer

The thought of anything even the slightest bit scary happening to my little man Sherman makes me shudder.  Each year over 2 million pet theft incidences are reported and it is estimated that about 41 % of missing dogs reported are stolen. Pets are often at the heart of a family and keeping them safe from theft should be a part of the house rules.

Since pets are a part of the family, one of the best ways to prevent pet theft is to introduce your furry family members to the neighborhood.  If you are new to an area, let your neighbors know you have pets. When you welcome a new pet to your home, send out an announcement to neighbors.  Getting your pets on the neighborhood radar can be really helpful in identifying them if they accidentally get loose or are stolen.

We can’t expect our pets to live a life confined to the house, but we can be smart and strategic when it comes to spending time with them outdoors.  Pets should never be left unattended on sidewalks or in cars.  Not only can this be dangerous, but also is a welcome invitation to pet theft.  If there is not a safe way for your pet to join you on an adventure, leave them behind.

While most of us allow our pets time in the yard unsupervised, it is important to create a safe and contained environment for them to explore.  Fenced areas with locked gates will not only prevent your pet form wandering away, but will also help to deter someone gaining easy access to abduct your pet.

Keeping your pet on leash can feel restricting, but when walking around your neighborhood or a park without a dog run, having Fido within reach is safe not only for your best friend, but for your neighbors as well. Keeping your pet on a leash not only can prevent pet injury, but can also prevent someone walking away with him/her as well.

As with all family members, it is important to have up-to-date photos of all your pets.  Should the unthinkable happen, recent photos are a great way to spread the word around the neighborhood about your missing pet.  Websites like missingpet and findfido are helpful resources should you suspect the worst.

Keeping ID tags on your pet’s collars is essential, so is having up-to-date records on hand like your dog license, vaccination records, and information regarding any pet medications.  All of these are helpful should your pet wander away or be stolen.

Many families choose to implant an identification microchip in their pet. Microchipping can be a source of identification for your pet if it is picked up by a shelter or veterinarian’s office while missing. Most shelters and vet offices look for microchips and scan them when they receive a new missing animal.  While microchips can be critical in identifying missing pets, they do not act as GPS devices.  They are only useful when scanned.

The best tip to prevent pet theft is to have a great relationship with your furry friends.  Train them with commands to keep them close and able to come when you call. The loving part is easy.