Dognapper! How Safe Is Your Dog?Ever since we adopted our Boston Terrier puppy, one of the biggest concerns we have had is the fear of our precious little dog being stolen by a dognapper.
It’s amazing how the mind works because I seem to be finding lot’s of dognapper stories lately and they are from all over the world. It started when I read the AKC findings which stated that dognapping has increased and Boston Terriers are listed as the fourth most stolen breed (Yorkshire Terrier was number 1).
Then I found dognapper stories from Albany where puppies and full grown dogs have gone missing with the Special Report: Dognapping title for added drama.
There are stories from my country, Australia where a dognapper stole a dog from the RSPCA shelter in Canberra and a story from Melbourne where Barking Pups Dodge Dognapping.
The stories from China and Thailand where they are battling a dognapping crime wave are the most disturbing with a dognapper group not only stealing stray dogs but are now targeting pet owners and stealing their dogs to be shipped into Southern China and Vietnam to be sold and served in restaurants. I kid you not.
Why Dogs Are Stolen And How You Could Be At Risk
Maybe we’re just being silly and paranoid but we love our Stelly very much so the fear of losing her to a dognapper is too much to think about and when you really step back and look at things it really isn’t as common as the media leads us to believe, there isn’t a dognapper lurking around every corner …
But, whilst dognapping may not be so common there are a few things that put Boston Terrier and purebred owners at a higher risk:
- Dogs are stolen for profit
Purebred puppies can be very expensive (although worth every cent) as they often come from breeders producing a show dog and also due to the cost of vet bills (especially is the puppies are born via caesarian). If the wrong person knows what they cost they could steal the puppy to sell for a profit.
- People Think Stelly Is A French Bulldog
Most people in Australia have no idea what a Boston Terrier is and Stelly is usually mistaken for a French Bulldog. This makes me a little worried as the Frenchies are even more expensive and people know that.
- Boston Terriers Rock
People here may not know what breed our dog is but everyone thinks she is a very cool dog and that really is universal with Boston Terriers. What happens if you ride around town on a really cool bike and then leave it out for the night? Yep, don’t expect it to be there in the morning.
- Small dogs are easily hidden
Stelly is very small and placid so she would be hidden easily unlike a big dog which would be quite obvious
- Boston Terriers are rare in Australia
In Australia it’s very hard to find Boston Terriers and you are often on a waiting list with a breeder for months if not years, some people might not want to wait and could steal your puppy instead.
- Fighting – not likely with a Boston Terrier, they will probably just smother the other dog with kisses but other breeds like Pit Bulls are stolen to fight.
Think I’m really going crazy now?
Here are some of those dognapping stories I’ve found:
Reducing The Risk Of Your Dog Being Stolen
To put my mind at ease I’ve researched a few things that you can do to make it harder for those rare dognappers of the world to get to your pet:
- If your dog is outside when you aren’t at home try and prevent them being seen from the street.
- If people start gushing over your dog and asking questions be careful how you answer. Don’t tell them where you live, how much your dog costs (I stupidly did this the other day … oops) or that they are left alone.
- Don’t leave your dog outside a store – a friend of mine tied her puppy to a pole outside a butcher and the pup got really anxious and managed to slip out of her harness. Luckily a friendly person picked her up and held her until my friend returned.
- Make sure your dog is micro chipped. That way if the dog is taken to a vet they will discover the real owner
All Worry For Nothing?
Well now that I’ve researched this and thought of ways to prevent my puppy being stolen I don’t feel so paranoid.
Chances are I will never have to face this situation but taking the above actions is like taking out insurance. You’ll probably never need it but if you don’t do anything about it you could be kicking yourself later if you don’t.
Have you had your dog stolen by a dognapper?
Is this a fear for you or do you think it’s just a whole lot of media hype about nothing?
Share your stories and thoughts in the comments below.