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Home > Dogs > Why Do People Steal Dogs? 4 Reasons for Pet Theft (Common Reasons & Prevention Tips)

Why Do People Steal Dogs? 4 Reasons for Pet Theft (Common Reasons & Prevention Tips)

man stealing a puppy

There are times when we have to leave our dogs alone for a while, and we certainly expect to return to them right where we left them. Whether you left them wandering around your front yard or left them in the car while you ran into a store for two minutes, returning to find your dog missing is every pet owner’s worst nightmare. Unfortunately, you have become the victim of pet theft.

Pet theft is becoming an even worse problem as the economy fluctuates.1 While you might not understand why anyone would ever want to take a dog away from a loving family, there are a few reasons that could help you understand why it happened in the first place.


The 4 Reasons Why Dogs Get Stolen:

1. Type of Breed

Purebred dogs are the most common victims of theft as their pedigree can be worth thousands of dollars. With little effort, a thief can make some easy cash without experiencing any significant consequences. The dogs that get stolen are mostly puppies, toy breeds, or designer dogs that are high in demand. The dognapper can usually sell the dog for half the price of a reputable breeder and still make good money.

2. Selling to Puppy Mills

As much as it hurts to think about it, dog theft also happens regularly because people are just looking for an extra buck. Many thieves choose to sell these dogs to puppy mills that will use the dogs for breeding purposes. This is another reason why it is so important to have your dog spayed or neutered.

puppies in a puppy mill
Image By: 2690457, Pixabay

3. Rewards

Some people steal dogs simply because they know that the family will offer a sizable reward for the return of their beloved pets.

4. Dog Fighting

An even worse fate for your dog is to be taken to be used as bait dogs or to be trained as fighting dogs. The most common breeds for this are Pit Bull Terriers, Doberman Pinschers, and German Shepherds. You probably didn’t think the breed you chose could make you more likely to be a victim of dog theft, but it’s definitely a factor.

What It Comes Down To

While it doesn’t seem like a good reason, at the end of the day, dog theft usually comes down to money. People who steal dogs from their families don’t have the wellness of the dog in mind. There are certainly many circumstances that could have led them to make this poor decision, but making some quick cash was the better choice in their minds. It’s heartbreaking and sad, but a harsh reality of the world that we live in.

man dognapping a puppy
Image By: Daisy Daisy, Shutterstock

Tips for Protecting Pets from Being Stolen

  • Keep your pets indoors whenever possible, especially when you are not at home.
  • Don’t let your dog roam freely or unsupervised through the neighborhood
  • Keep dogs on a leash when you walk them.
  • Keep animals properly identified with ID tags and microchips.
  • Spray or neuter all your animals.
  • Request proof of ownership when returning lost animals to their guardians.
  • Be aware of any strangers in the neighborhood.
  • Report any suspicious activity to the police.


Final Thoughts

In an ideal world, there wouldn’t be any sort of animal theft or abuse taking place. Unfortunately, that isn’t the reality we live in, though. If you believe your pet has been stolen, make sure to contact your local police station as soon as possible and start to spread the word. The more people that know what to look for, the more likely you are to find your pet and have them returned home safely.

Featured Image Credit: Daisy Daisy, Shutterstock

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