There seems to be a growing number of people who think they have a right to other people’s stuff.
And that includes their dogs.
Dogs are being stolen from cars, yards, stores, tied out on sidewalks and even from shelters. Small dogs have become a favorite for burglars to steal during home robberies. Dogs have also been stolen from people out walking their dogs in deserted areas.
Although we read stories about stolen dogs being found, the sad fact is that most stolen dogs are not returned to the owners. Many of the dogs are sold on the street or on Craigslist by people who think of dogs as drug money.
To these people even the growing number of surveillance cameras is not a deterrent.
It takes such a short time to snatch a dog. With so many dogs being stolen recently, we should probably think of them as babies and toddlers who should not be untended in yards, cars or tied in front of a store.
The first recommendation is to have the dog microchipped, but that isn’t an entire answer even for dogs that have strayed or gotten lost.
Technology is only as good as the information people provide.
A recent study of shelters across the country found that 35 percent of microchipped animals that came into shelters had incorrect or disconnected phone numbers. Another 24 percent of the animals were registered to a former owner.
In other words more than half of the microchipped animals had no accurate information on the ownership linked to their microchip.
The main job of a shelter is to unite lost pets with their owners. Shelter workers know that an animal with a microchip has been a beloved family member.
Approximately 5 million to 7 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year. With a heavy work load it is difficult for workers to make repeated phone calls and search the internet. Every effort is made by responsible shelters before the pet is offered for adoption, but often workers hit a blank wall.
Updating the information with the microchip company when you move is as important as leaving a forwarding address and getting a new driver's license.