The Society is offering a $1,000 reward for the return of Huggle, a shy, large light-brown mixed breed last seen in her yard in the Cliffwood Beach section of her Old Bridge backyard. She was microchipped, was wearing a pink collar with a vaccination tag, name, and phone number on. She could have been dropped anywhere. If seen, e-mail: urshara(at)live(dot)com or contact us. She is very shy and scared of men.
Huggle is probably one of a growing number of dogs whose owners think are lost, but were probably stolen.
Dog thieves seem to have become more daring, particularly with the increased use of invisible fencing. Even though the dog will stay in the yard, there is no visible deterent to stop a thief. Even so, is not uncommon for someone to open a gate or jump a fence to enter a yard and take a dog.
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 that 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 BUT THE MICROCHIP MUST BE REGISTERED WITH THE COMPANY!
· 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.