ISCDT and your pet want you to know that February 14 is Pet theft Awareness Day! Each year on Valentine’s Day dog parents are reminded to take steps to protect their pets.
There are various reasons for pet theft. Two of the most popular reasons are financial gain and breeding purposes. No matter why pets are stolen, the loss of a pet causes significant pain. Here are steps to take to lower the chance of experiencing pet theft.
Microchip your pets. Include microchip information on your dog’s collar to deter pet theft. Should someone steal your pet, contact your microchipping company to alert them. Some companies, such as Homeagain, have a team of lost pet recovery specialists to help. They also allow you to post pictures on their website.
Keep ID tags up to date and make sure your dog wears a collar and ID tags daily. In addition to your cell phone number and address, include a note on the ID tag indicating that your dog has been neutered or spayed. Since breeding is a reason behind pet theft, this information may deter a thief from stealing your dog for breeding purposes. Some people suggest omitting LARGE PRINT of the dog’s name on the ID tag (or omitting the name completely) to prevent thieves from luring your dog by calling their name. Print the dog’s name on back of the tag and your contact info on the front.
Don’t leave your dog unattended in unsecured places such as your car, a dog park, tied outside while you visit a store or in your own backyard, especially when the yard is not fenced in. For yards that are fenced in, make sure gates are locked. Beware of short fence that thieves can reach over and grab your dog. Include security cameras in your front and back yard to deter pet theft.
Secure window and doors when you leave home. If you have a security system in your home, activate it every time you leave the house.
Be careful when posting on social media. It is never a good idea to share too much information about your day-to-day life. Avoid sharing posts about your vacation, daily outings and where your dog is during those times. If you want to post about your travels, do so after you return home. When posting your dog on social media, ensure your contact information is blurred on identification tags. These practices will not only protect you from pet theft, they can protect your home and your safety. You never know who is watching you online.
Take photos of your dog! This tip is likely the easiest to follow because most of us have thousands of photos of our pets on our phones and on social media. Make sure those photos show different angles of your pets –especially if they have special identifying markings. These photos can be used for fliers. Don’t be shy, make sure you have pictures of you with your pet too. Doing so can speed up proof of ownership.
Keep your dogs on leash. We meet people each day who desire an off-leash dog. Not all dogs are made for off leash and not all locations are safe for off-leash dogs. Even dogs with perfect recall can wander off into dangerous situations where recalling a dog is unsafe. A leashed dog is a safe dog. If you do run your dog off-leash in public locations, make sure you always keep your attention on your dog. Chatting with others or playing on your phone while your dog is off leash leaves the door open for pet theft to strike. Avoid people who show too much interest in your dog or want to interact with your dog from their car. It takes a second for them to grab your dog and drive away.
We hope these tips help prevent you from suffering with pet theft. Are there security measures you take not include in this blog? Post that information below. We want pet parents to know.
If you are considering a career in dog training, ISCDT offers an online program featuring 18 hands-on lessons where students are required to work with dogs. Skill and ability is determined through a series of videos and short written homework that is submitted to your personal ISCDT mentor. ISCDT also offers a one or two-week in-person Shadow program. These programs allow students to assist trainers working in the field. To learn more about the courses we offer, visit ISCDT.com