You decide to run a few errands with your puppy in town on a cool day. Checking in to your favorite restaurant, you opt to leave your puppy at the car park, only to come back and find that he is gone! Could he have been stolen? Is he one of the most stolen breeds?
Or maybe it is that sunny morning and you decide to have your puppy take some fresh air as he plays on the yard. You get into the house to have some unfinished business and by the time you check on him, he is nowhere to be seen.
“Where could he be?” “Could it be another case of dog theft?” Quite traumatizing!
Well, dog theft has been on the rise in the recent past. Dog nappers have improvised ways of getting away with your dogs; small and large ones alike.
So why do they steal? What are some of the common breeds that are vulnerable to theft? And what can you do to protect your dog from getting into the hands of these criminals?
Why are dogs stolen?
While there are many reasons as to why dog nappers steal our loyal companions, money remains the driving force.
In most cases, these criminals target purebred dogs such as Pomeranian as well as ‘designer breeds’ such as Labradoodle. These two types of breeds fetch thousands of dollars in the black market, as they sell to unsuspecting buyers.
Secondly, other dogs get stolen purposely to be used as bait dogs in illegal dog fighting and training. Dog nappers go for large-sized dogs as bait dogs. The German shepherd, bulldogs and American Pitbull are some of the dogs that serve as ‘bait’ dogs.
What’s more, your dog could be stolen and sold to veterinary and research institutions for laboratory testing and biomedical experimentation.
Last but not least, dog nappers steal some dogs to be used as breeding dogs. Once they produce puppies, the little ones are flipped to the market. Alternatively, they are sold off to illegal puppy mills at a great value.
Which are the Popular Stolen Dog Breeds?
1. Yorkshire Terrier
Yorkshire Terrier remains the most popular breed in the USA and consequently the most targeted dog breed among these criminals.
Most dog parents love the sweet and adorable nature of Yorkshire breed. You will certainly fall in love with its inquisitive and lively personality. In addition, they are sharp both mentally and physically.
Owing to these perfect mix of qualities, any pet owner would be willing to part with a lump sum amount of money just to have this little companion. Dognappers sell Yorkshire Terrier breed with as much as $2500.
What’s more, their small physique increases their vulnerability to theft as they can be easily snatched away and hidden.
2. Boston Terrier
Boston Terrier belongs to the top family dog breed and one of the most popular breeds in America largely due to its awesome features.
I love the social nature of Boston dogs; they love people, lots of attention, love to please and get friendly with anyone around them. Boston Terrier are considered as perfect companions for the aged people.
Other awesome traits of this dog include calmness, great intelligence, and playful nature.
With all these great traits coupled with his small physique, they are an easy target for dognappers. Thieves do resell the Boston Terrier with as much as $2000.
3. French Bull dog
According to the American Kennel Club, the French dog is ranked as the third most stolen dog breed in the USA. You may ask, why is it so susceptible to theft?
Well, the French bull dog possesses most of the traits of the Boston Terrier breed: friendly to human beings and other pets, calm, playful, and small.
In addition, the French bull is quite entertaining and comical and you will absolutely love being around this breed.
He is also one of the most popular dog breed, highly-valued and arguably one of the sought-after breeds in the market. Dognappers resell this particular dog for up to $4000. Quite pricey, right!
4. American Pit Bull
While most dog thieves target small, portable dog breeds for resale purposes, others target large dog breeds purposely for illegal dog fighting and baiting. The latter is true for pit bull dog breed.
Rated as one of the most popular breeds for dog fighting, this cross-breed dog is loving and loyal to those around him.
Dog nappers can resell the pit bull breed with as much as $2000 depending on the color and pedigree.
How I love how tiny this loyal breed looks like. They are among the most popular and one of the smallest dog breeds making them an easy target for dog thieves.
Just like other popular dog breeds, Chihuahuas rank at the listings of the most stolen breeds in the market. Some of the traits that present them as targets for dog nappers include their size (anyone can snatch away and easily hide them) even in the middle of the city.
Note that chihuahuas do have variable traits. You will find one as bold or timid; full of life or calm; and pleasing or strong-willed etc.
Being a darling to most dog owners, Chihuahuas are on-demand and dog nappers could fetch up to $2500 when they resell.
6. German Shepherd
German shepherd ranks as the most popular dog breed in the market. His popularity is attributed to his incredible traits. He is one of the most intelligent, devoted, and hardworking dog breeds.
Owing to these traits, German shepherds find their way as the assistant guides for the handicapped, police and military service. Also, they are involved in search and rescue missions, drug detection, hunting, etc.
Just like the Pit bulls, stealing a German shepherd dog is not a simple task due to its large size. However, if a dog napper is looking for a bait or fighting dog, then they will do anything to have this breed.
What’s more, a pure bred German shepherd is rated highly in terms of dollars.
However, adult German shepherds are often skeptical about strangers hence you will find that most of these dog nappers target the young ones and even puppies.
My favorite dog breed of all times, Maltese is a small, popular and valuable breed. This adorable breed appears as a white fluffy dog.
His tiny size and friendly-nature make it an easy target for dog nappers as they are easily portable.
Maltese dog breeds are playful beings, intelligent and love to explore the world around them. You will also find others as outgoing, confident, cautious, etc.
Reselling a Maltese, a dog thief could pocket up to $2500.
8. Labrador Retriever
Labrador is arguably the most popular and on-demand dog breed in the market.
While dog thieves steal some dog breeds for illegal baiting, dog fighting, hunting, etc, the Labrador Retriever captures the attention of dog nappers particularly for its value in the market.
A potential buyer of such a breed would willingly part with as much as $2000 to have him.
Despite being a large dog, Labrador remains susceptible to theft due to its open and friendly personality. Hence, they can easily be lured by dog thieves for resell in the black market.
While some Labrador dogs love to relax and get pampered, others go an extra mile to serve their “bosses” diligently.
The cute and adorable Pomeranian is a popular dog breed that is highly in demand due to its limited numbers. The high demand means with a purebred Pomeranian, unsuspecting dog buyers could part with up to $3500 when purchasing this dog in the black market.
Pomeranian breeds are small-sized, portable and friendly animals that are easy to please. Therefore, giving potential criminals ample time to lure them and promptly whisk them away.
Other amazing traits of this fashionable breed that makes it a darling to anyone include inquisitive, bold and commanding.
Most of these criminals would prefer to go for a pure bred dog as opposed to mixed bred dogs.
However, when it comes to what they term as ‘designer’ breeds, these criminals would not have a second thought. This is mainly because trendy dog breeds attract the highest value when they flip them on the black market.
As such, the Labradoodle attracts up to $2000 when resold.
Dog nappers have ample time getting away with this breed because of his personal and friendly nature. With just a small treat of a piece of steak, a stranger will have this breed by himself.
As a dog lover, you would not want to imagine the horrible torture that your dog will go through if stolen by criminals. To protect him from such trauma, here are some of the preventive measures against dog theft.
- As much as possible, keep your dog indoors whenever you are away.
- Do not leave your dog unattended in the yard, in your car or chained at the store while you shop.
- Get your dog microchipped either in the veterinary center or at the animal shelter.
- Acquire proof of dog ownership from relevant authorities in your area. They include veterinary records, adoption papers, license documents, etc.
- Keep your dog’s collars and ID tags up to date with your current contact details.
- Neuter or spay your dog to reduce his desire of roaming around as well as lower the chances of being used in laboratories for experimental purposes.
- Feed your dog always to prevent him from taking food bait. Equipments such as a treat dispenser keep dogs occupied and well fed around the clock.