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Copyright 2014 by Attorney Carlos Gamino
It’s tough to know exactly how many dogs have been stolen, because in many cases police don’t distinguish between pets and property when they’re writing up theft reports, but the sad fact is that if your dog is in the wrong situation, he or she is likely to be “dognapped.”
Why People Steal Dogs
According to Modern Dog Magazine, people steal dogs for many reasons—but most of them involve some kind of profit.
Pedigreed dogs can cost thousands of dollars, so enterprising criminals steal them and sell them for far less than breeders do. People called “bunchers” steal family dogs to sell them to laboratories or to put them on sites like Craigslist to charge a “rehoming fee,” too.
In the worst cases, though, people steal dogs to use as dog-fight prey. Dogs who aren’t accustomed to fighting make easy wins for aggressive dogs, which bolsters their confidence for a fight their owners have put money on.
How to Keep Your Dog Safe From Theft
Chances are pretty good that if your dog escapes, he or she is going to be found by someone who has no interest in profit. However, many dog owners don’t realize that they’re making their dogs a prime target for thieves by things they do every day.
The American Kennel Club says to protect your pup from thieves:
- •Never leave your dog outside unattended for a long period of time, especially if your fence is visible from the street.
- •Never answer questions about your dog when someone admires him or her on the street, such as how much the dog cost or where you live.
- •Never let your dog off his or her leash except in a fenced-in backyard (and then see the first point).
- •Never leave your dog unattended in the car, even if it’s locked.
What Do You Think?
Have you ever had a dog stolen from you? Have you ever suspected that you were buying a stolen dog? I’d love to hear your stories, so please share them on my Facebook page or on Twitter.
News from Attorney Carlos Gamino
Why Dognapping is Becoming a Huge Problem in the U.S.
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