* Stolen dogs often end up with Class B dealers, who then sell to puppy mills and pet stores. A Class B license is issued to dealers who buy and sell warm-blooded animals that were not born and raised on their property. United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Also, a large number of dogs in the U.S. are stolen to be used as bait and/or fighters in the dog fighting arena.
Okay, as promised... 14 simple things you can do to keep your pet from being a prime target of theft.
1. ALWAYS KEEP YOUR PETS TAGGED, including rabies, license and registration tags and, if tattooed/microchipped, a tag with the appropriate registry phone number or website (Note #2). Lost pets without tags often don’t get reclaimed, even if tattooed or microchipped, because these methods of identification aren't easily seen.
2. REGISTER ALL PET TATTOOS AND MICROCHIPS with the appropriate registry. Many pet owners do not even realize that an unregistered tattoo or microchip is useless. Include the registry information with your pet's records and with the vet.
3. DO NOT PUT PET'S NAME on his ID tag or visibly display it anywhere outside. (ex. dog house, feeding dish, fence). A pet is much more likely to go to a stranger who calls him by name.
4. CONFINE PETS. The safest place for them when you’re not home is indoors. This includes cats, too!
5. LOCK GATES. If you must leave your dog outside, at least make it difficult for others to get to him. Only leave pets in a fenced yard with padlocks and chains placed high on the gates so the ground can’t be used as leverage for bolt cutters.
6. NEVER LEAVE pet alone in the back of a pickup truck - even if on a leash or in a pet crate! According to the Humane Society of the United States, 100,000 dogs are killed each year in accidents involving pets riding in the open bed of pickups. - See more at TripsWithPets.com)
7. DO NOT LEAVE CHAINED PETS IN VIEW, especially in unfenced yards.
8. NEVER LET YOUR DOG OFF THE CHAIN or leash if unsupervised! Many municipalities have laws concerning unleashed pets - for everyone's safety, including Fido's.
9. KEEP TOTO CLOSE TO YOU during leisure activities and events where unsecured, stressed pets can bolt and get lost, hurt and/or stolen. Whether on leash or in a pet crate, do not leave unattended. One great option is Wrapsit™ slipcover pet crate, a simple add-on to your folding camp chair which creates the most convenient, dry, comfortable soft-sided dog or cat crate - ready anytime and anywhere your take your chair.
10. DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PET CHAINED UP IN PUBLIC PLACES while you shop. Many stores now allow leashed pets. Ask! If the answer is "No", visit that shop another day.
11. TRAIN YOUR PET to walk by your side at all times.
12. LOCK DOGGY DOORS when you leave home. Keep pets in and creepy crawlies (or just plain creepy) OUT!
13. DO NOT SHARE WITH STRANGERS the value, bloodlines, training or special abilities of your pet.
14. DO KEEP RECENT PHOTOS and written descriptions of your companion animals on hand at all times.