The theft last week of a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel in New York City, which left a 7-year-old heartbroken the day before Christmas, has catapulted the crime of dognapping back into the national conversation on pet abuse and safety.
CBS New York reported on Friday of a new consciousness-raising campaign by the American Kennel Club to make pet-owners aware of the danger of leaving pets unattended, tying their leash to a railing or parking meter while shopping.
“It only takes a minute for a theft to occur,” American Kennel Club spokeswoman Lisa Peterson told reporters, adding that dogs are especially susceptible to theft. The AKC notes that they are being stolen out of cars, yards, off sidewalks, and even out of shelters. And the rate at which dognappings are occurring is as alarming as the thefts are brazen.
“Last year for example we tracked more than 432 pet thefts and that’s just scratching the surface,” said Peterson, who reports that thefts are up 70 percent. “For the first time ever we’ve seen a trend now where shelters are being broken into and purebred and mixed breed dogs are being stolen.”
The case of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel had a happy ending, mainly because the dog, named Marley, had a microchip implanted. When the dog was presented for sale to a pet store, the clerk became suspicious and checked for the presence of a chip.
Microchipping your pet is the primary safeguard, the AKC, observes, but it is not the only measure they recommend for keeping your pet safe. If you are running errands, they advise, keep your pet at home. Above all else, “don’t leave it unattended,” Peterson advises.
- Chicago police shoot and kill second innocent pet dog in one month
- Outrage: Dog shot to death for playing in the snow (Photos)
- Dog who risked life to save family members beats cancer (Photos)
- Bill introduced in NY state legislature to toughen penalties for animal cruelty (Photos)
- Outrage: Dog so badly abused that it dies, owner walks
- Nitro’s Law, named after starved dog, would increase penalties for animal abuse
- NY’s Suffolk Country passes animal abuse law that uses abuser database
- Oregon Senate passes bill protecting pets in situations of family violence
- NM woman stole 60 dogs from their homes and gave them to shelters
Follow me on Twitter or join me at Facebook.