Do you know how to protect your pets from being subjects of theft? Unfortunately, it can happen. We want you to be able to prevent pet theft, but also be prepared if it does happen to you.
The most important recommendation we can give is to properly identify your pets. This includes giving them a collar and tags with their name and your contact information and getting them microchipped (you can read our post on the microchipping procedure here).
You should always keep an eye on your pet. While out, for example on a walk or at the dog park, keep them on a leash or within sight. This is oftentimes when people will try to take pets, especially if the owner is not paying attention. Try not to leave pets tied up outside of stores or in the car when running errands. Not only is it dangerous (especially in extreme weather conditions), but also it is harder to watch them.
Watching them at home is also important. While you (and your pets) should feel safer at home, there are still some preventative measures you can take. Make sure your property is secured, with an electric fence, a gate, or a security alarm. This will stop some people from getting onto your property, as well as protect pets from getting out. Never leave your pets outside for too long, especially overnight. If they are spending a long time outdoors, make sure you are outside with them or are checking on them frequently.
We hope that this part of the post never has to apply to you, but we want you to be prepared. Here are some tips that we suggest, and that can help bring your pet home:
- Call local shelters or rescues. Give them a description of your pet and leave your contact information. If your pet does end up at one of these places, they will have the knowledge that it is a pet with a home. Since you left your contact information, they will be able to get ahold of you (which is important if a pet loses identification).
- Call veterinarians around where you live. You should also give them a description of your pet and your contact information. Thieves will oftentimes remove microchips and other forms of identification, and then get pets’ microchipped again. By talking to vets, you alert them to the fact that a pet might come in that matches your description and have an appointment to get a microchip.
- Get the word out. Create and post flyers (with a reward), call friends and neighbors to ask if anyone has seen your pet, and file a police report. The more people who know your pet is gone, the more people will be on the lookout.