With the wide reach of the internet, pet flipping has reached new and dangerous heights. High priced breeds, such as English Bulldogs, are being snatched from the safety of their homes and sold for big money by unscrupulous people. The thieves not only get away with dog napping and extortion, but a family mourns the loss of their beloved pet. It isn’t just high priced breeds who are targeted; any adorable, friendly dog can fetch a couple hundred dollar “adoption fee”. What measures can an owner take to prevent this senseless tragedy?
The first piece of advice to every owner is to get their dog microchipped as soon as possible. If the dog comes with a microchip, update the information immediately. Although this is really good advice, every dog should get microchipped, this doesn’t help when a dog is stolen. A microchip isn’t a tracking device; it can only be detected by a specific tool if scanned in the right area. There have been reports of a microchip wandering. It may be implanted in the neck, but over time may slip into the hip area. There should always be a backup plan.
Not suggesting taking Rover into the local parlor to get Woodstock inked on his rump. This practice is gaining traction with reputable breeders, having litters tatted with their license number in a small area, generally unseen by the public (Usually on the inside flank). In case a dog is stolen, they may be easily identified and returned to either the owners or the breeder. The upside of this practice is that tattooing is permanent, it doesn’t wander, and there are no special tools needed to find it. Canine inking may be done in a veterinary office and registered with a tattooing agency. If the dog ends up at a research facility, the lab is required by law to search for tattoos and make every effort to reunite the dog with his family.
If the dog is romping in a fenced backyard, check the height of the fence; could someone easily stoop over and take the dog? If it isn’t feasible to add height to the fence, keep a closer watch on the dog.
Be on the lookout for strange people lurking in the neighborhood. Most dognappers will have cased the neighborhood before hand, watching and waiting for the perfect time to snatch the pup. Change up a rigid schedule. If the neighbors are dog friendly, form a pup watch group. Keep an eye out for each other and anything curious in the neighborhood.
Is the gate easily opened? Perhaps a makeshift alarm is in order. A bell that will ring when opened? A pyramid of cans that would fall when the gate opened? It doesn’t have to be fancy, just noisy. Raising an alarm that security has been breached.
While keeping a dog safe from predators should be a priority, it shouldn’t be an all consuming obsession. With knowledge comes peace of mind. Now go give a four legged fur baby an extra hug and treats.
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