How Safe is Your Dog?
It seems lately there are more and more stories of dogs being stolen or disappearing, most especially the smaller toy breeds and designer types. The demand for these types of dogs is very high and the prices they fetch makes them profitable to the unscrupulous thief. That doesn’t mean that your dog is safe if it’s not a toy or designer breed, any dog can be stolen and none of the reasons are good but some are more harrowing than others. People steal dogs not just to resell, but also for bait dogs in dog fighting rings, to sell to labs and medical facilities for testing and more.
There are things that you can do to safeguard your canine companion and although not much is completely foolproof, taking certain precautions can definitely lower the chances that you and your pooch do not become victims.
More and more people take their furry companion with them when they run errands and often leave them in their vehicle for periods of time. Whether your vehicle is locked or not, this will not deter a determined thief. A dog left in a vehicle is an open invitation and there have been so many stories lately about dogs being stolen from vehicles. The safest thing to do is to never leave your dog unattended, even for a few moments, in a vehicle. If you cannot keep your dog with you at all time, leave them safe at home.
Obviously you also don’t want to leave your dog tied outside a store or restaurant when you go in, even if it’s just for a minute or two. It only takes seconds to untie and walk off.
Another story I am hearing more often is that someone will let their dog out in their unfenced yard for ‘potty time’ and that is the last they see of them. Yes, it’s sad when you cannot even let your dog out on your own property for a few minutes without having to worry about some nutcase doing a ‘grab and run’ but it’s reality. Dogs left in open yards, yards with unsecure and easily accessed fences or left unsupervised on outdoor leads can all potentially be in danger.
Beware the doggie escape artist! Some dogs are excellent at ‘getting out’ whether it be from a yard, kennel or just scooting out of an opened door. One thing that you can do to help cut down on that ‘roaming urge’ is to make sure your dogs are spayed or neutered. This will reduce a dog’s urge to stray. Stray dogs are often picked up off the street for any number of reasons. Often they wound up in a shelter and can even wander out of the area.
Collars and ID tags are all well and good for dogs and many places actually require that dogs wear them but a thief can easily remove a collar and tags. The best thing to do is make sure that you have backup ID methods, either microchip or a tattoo. Nowadays most all shelters and vets can easily scan for a microchip and dogs have literally been returned to their families sometimes years later due to this method. It usually doesn’t take quite so long but it can and does happen.
One last tip, make sure that you keep recent pictures and description of your dog just in case. It’s so much easier to identify a dog if you actually see a picture. You can plaster ‘missing’ fliers, post information on the internet, with vet and shelters. It’s easy enough to do and takes so little time. no one like to think that their beloved canine companion could go missing or stolen but it’s much better to have the necessary information than not…. better safe than sorry as the old adage goes!
Bottom line, if you love your dog and want to keep them safe, take the same precautions for them as you would to keep a small child safe.
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