Updated: Feb 6, 2021
While many people celebrate Valentine’s Day on February 14th, there’s another holiday that occurs on the same day. Pet Theft Awareness Day which is a day that sees an uptick, according to the organization Last Chance for Animals (LCA), of pet thefts.
On average, an estimated 2 million pets are stolen every year, according to The National Association for Pet Sitters. In response, LCA began in 1988, their campaign to “raise awareness for the issues of pet theft and to educate the public about how to keep their companion animals safe from unscrupulous thieves.”
LCA provides useful information regarding pet safety and while we will hit the highlights you can review the entire site in more detail by clicking here.
According to LCA, there are three common reasons for pet theft:
Dog Fighting Rings
So, what can you do to make sure your pet doesn’t end up a victim of pet theft? LCA suggests the following:
Keep your pets indoors, especially when you are not at home. Do not leave your pets unsupervised in your yard; it only takes a minute for thieves to steal your beloved companion animals. Keep your pet on a leash and do not let your pet roam free in your neighborhood. Never leave your pet alone in a car.
Properly identify your pets with a collar, tag, and microchip.
Ensure your pets are spayed and neutered; fixed animals are less likely to wander away from home.
Keep recent photos and written descriptions of your companion animals on hand at all times, and maintain up-to-date records and licenses on all of your pets.
Be aware of strangers in your area and report anything unusual, such as suspicious neighborhood activities or a surge in missing pets, to local police and animal control.
If your pet is stolen, take immediate action. First, call the police. You can record the theft by asking to file a report with them. Then, check with each local animal control department or shelter in your area to inquire with them and make a report, as necessary. You can also scan lost dog websites to see if someone has located your pet and be sure to put up your missing pet flyers. Animals can often travel long distances so keep this in mind when staking out spots to post. And be sure to comply with local ordinances regarding posting of your flyers.
Hopefully your pet is never the victim of this crime. With these tips and a watchful eye, you can help prevent a theft or potentially help someone whose pet might have been stolen.