What special event is on February 14th? No, it isn’t Valentine’s Day; it’s Pet Theft Awareness Day! Every year, hundreds of innocent pets are picked up from their front yards and taken away to be sold to companies for testing or breeding. We have this day dedicated to our furry friends so as to bring awareness to this public issue and prevent kidnapping from occurring. Sadly, most pets are considered “property” by the government, which is why tracking down a kidnapped pet often takes days and even weeks. In this article, we’ll give you some tips on how to keep your pet safe from “pet-napping”, as well as what you should do if you were to spot another pet being stolen.
What to do to protect your pet:
- Keep them indoors: Keep your pets indoors as much as you can! We recommend that you invest in a kennel for younger animals such as puppies. If you must keep them outdoors, then consider investing in a proper leash and keep them somewhere you can see them.
- Teach your pet to stay within boundaries: If your pet is allowed to roam freely, then make sure they understand their limits, and train them to stay within a certain vicinity.
- Properly identify your pets: Invest in a collar or a tag to easily identify your pet; you can buy one from here. Better yet, consider going to the vet and microchipping your dog or cat, so that you know it's location no matter where you are.
- Spay and neuter your pet: fixed pets are less likely to wander, which decreases its chances of being pet-napped.
What to do if you witness pet-napping:
- Confront or yell at the perpetrator: Some thieves may get scared and choose to run away without the dog, while others may be more aggressive. Stand your ground but stay safe when confronting; don’t put yourself in danger’s way for another person’s dog! But don’t be a bystander either.
- Call the police: If you are unable to stop the perpetrator, then call the police immediately and let them know what is occurring; this event counts as an emergency. The police may ask follow up questions, and you should answer to the best of your abilities.
- Let the owners know: It’s crucial that the owners know what has happened to their pets; advise them to begin making missing posters and stay in touch with the police, and ask them if they have microchipped their dog or cat. They may be in a state of panic, so make sure to let them calm down first before asking questions.
- Take down any information you can: whether it’s a license plate or a description of the man or woman responsible for the kidnapping, any information can help the police when they try to track down the perpetrator.
Stay safe this February readers, and keep your pets indoors as much as you can during these hectic times! In the unlikely event that your pet is kidnapped, make sure to call the police and your local animal control department right away, and begin creating “missing” posters for your pet. Your pet is most likely safe and in capable hands (such as with your neighbors,) but it’s better safe than sorry. Cherish your pets and keep them safe! We hope you’ll join us next week for our next article!