Our blogger Jessica explains why dognappings should be at the forefront of dog owners’ minds.
A recent NPR story is a great reminder to all that we keep our dogs safe and make safety a priority. We see our dogs as members of our families, but others sometimes view them as property with a high resale value. According to the American Kennel Club, dognapping has risen 49% in the United States during 2011. That boggles my mind! Aside from the cruelty of it all, I can’t imagine dogs are easy to traffic (“hey buddy, wanna buy a poodle?”). But if a crook thinks he or she can sell a dog, I guess that’s all the motivation needed. The NPR story is fairly general, but I believe there are two groups of “high-risk” dogs.
Expensive and Popular Breeds:
- Expensive breeds: People will always pay top dollar for English Bulldogs, French Mastiffs, Great Danes, etc.
- Trendy/popular breeds: Dalmatians aren’t an unusually expensive breed, but when Disney’s “101 Dalmatians” movie captured audiences, people wanted a Dalmatian of their own. Right now, I think “designer breeds” are tempting targets, including Puggles, Golden Doodles, Cockapoos, Labradoodles. If you throw an “oodle” at the end of the breed name, most likely the dog will sell.
- Puppies are easier to handle than adult dogs; you would have to be really motivated to steal an unwilling Doberman. Besides, people are more likely to buy puppies than adult dogs, as any rescue organization can tell you.
In addition to dognappings, NPR overlooks an important factor. As dog owners, we have a responsibility to know where our dogs come from. Rescue organizations are fairly safe, but if you get your next dog through a private breeder, make sure it is legitimate. Any “breeder” with just one expensive puppy and no evidence of the parents could be considered suspect. “We just don’t have time for this puppy” is a great cover story for fencing stolen dogs. If possible, try to track down the original breeder to confirm you are NOT getting a stolen dog.
All in all, it is up to us as dog owners and lovers to be aware of dognappings and be sure to do our best to not take part in an illegitimate operation.