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Protect Your Pets from Pet Theft!



CONTACT: Roseann Trezza, Executive Director
February 19, 2010


UPDATE - 3/1: Corgi has been found! Corgi ws found wandering the Sayreville area, shortly after AHS issued a media alert offering a reward for Corgi's return. The vet at Sayreville Animal Hospital said that Corgi's condition was far too good for her to have spent time outside. It is the Society's belief that once a pet theft is published in the media, the animal is often released. Pet theft is a felony.


THE WHOLE STORY IS A SAD IRONY. Corgi, a shy orange and white Welsh Corgi, recently rescued from a Florida puppy mill, came to Sayreville, New Jersey with her new family to help her owners’ parents get back on their feet after a fire devastated their New Jersey home and claimed the lives of their two dogs.

Corgi’s owners left the dog securely tied to a tree in a relative’s backyard on Walling Street while they briefly visited. When Corgi’s owners went back outside to retrieve their pup, Corgi was gone. Her leash, however, was found elsewhere in the yard. It appears that Corgi has become part of a growing statistic—one more of many stolen purebred dogs.

Associated Humane Societies/Popcorn Park is offering a $1,000 reward for the safe return of Corgi. However, dog thefts are becoming epidemic.

There is no central agency that keeps these records, however it’s estimated that more than 12,000 dogs, mixed breeds and purebreds, are stolen in New Jersey and more than 2 million nationwide, each year. In addition, many pets reported by their owners as lost or ran away have actually been stolen.

Roseann Trezza, Executive Director of Associated Humane Societies/Popcorn Park, said dog thieves are becoming more daring as pet owners become more casual about leaving their pets. This is particularly the case with dog owners who have invisible fencing around their property. Although the pets will stay in the yard, there is nothing to deter a thief from entering. And, if your pet leaves the yard with invisible fencing, in many instances it will not return.

“Pet theft is a HUGE problem, and just keeps getting worse. I see reports everyday of people who are reporting their purebreds as runaways, when in actuality they may have been stolen,” Ms. Trezza said. “Sometimes they are stolen and resold. Whatever the reason, pet thefts can usually be prevented by care and vigilance.”

To keep pets safe from theft, Associated Humane Societies offers these tips:

• Don’t leave home with your dog in the backyard. Dogs left outside unattended are perfect target, especially if the dog is visible from the street.
• Invisible fencing will not protect your dog from theft. Underground and radio-controlled fencing is great for keeping your trained dog inside the confines of your property, but it does nothing to keep intruders away. Not only does this make your dog even more susceptible to theft, but it’s also inviting for stray dogs and other wild animals who are curious about your pet.
• Never leave your pet unattended in a vehicle, even if you’ve locked the doors. The dangers that can arise by leaving your pet in a vehicle, even for a minute or two, are many. Anyone can break into your vehicle and steal your pet, or just open the door and let the pet run free. What’s more, pets left in vehicles are subject to super hot or cold conditions that can harm or even kill them.
• Always keep your pet on a leash.
• Never tie your pet’s leash outside a building. Many dogs are stolen outside shops.
• Get your pet microchipped. Collars and tags can be removed, but a microchip – only about the size of a piece of rice – contains all identifying information about your pet, and is inserted under the dog’s skin, just near his neck and shoulder bones. Pets have been recovered when dogs have been scanned for microchips.
• If you think your dog has been stolen, immediately notify the police and stay in contact with your nearest animal shelters. Post “lost” signs with photos of your pet throughout your area. Go on the internet and check rescue groups, lost/found organizations, etc., animal shelters, animal control throughout the area. Once an animal is stolen, the chances of it staying localized is slim. If you have a purebred dog, there are usually breed rescue groups throughout the nation that maintain a lost/found list. Contact them.
• If your pet is lost or stolen, be wary of people who might call or contact you and say they need cash to return the dog as either traveling costs or ransom. Immediately contact the police.
• If you witness a stranger putting a neighbor's dog in a car or van, please be sure to obtain the license plate number of the vehicle and contact the owners or police.


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