Petnapping sounds like the plot of a zany Disney film, but it’s a real issue that affects as many as two million pets a year. While there are things you can do to minimize your risk, it’s important to be prepared for the worst. Here are steps you can take if your pet is stolen:
File a police report immediately. Include a recent photo of your pet and their microchip ID number (if applicable). A police record of the theft can help with identification or retrieval if you learn of your pet’s location.
Canvass the neighborhood. Speak with neighbors who may have witnessed anyone with your pet. Post flyers in the area and offer a reward- but do not specify the amount. Most pet theft is financially motivated, so check local classified ads and Craigslist.
Reach out to your local community. Contact your local shelters, rescues, vets and groomers. Find out if any pets have recently been abandoned. Write a letter to your neighborhood paper or speak with your local radio station. The more people know about your missing pet the more likely he or she will be identified and returned.
Beware of scams. Scammers try to take advantage of the most vulnerable people. Do not meet with anyone in a secluded area or give someone money before the return of your pet.
Connect online. Think about online communities as well. Post in local groups and on sites for finding lost or stolen pets:
Your town’s Facebook group
Pet Amber Alert
February 14th is Pet Theft Awareness Day. Spread the message to help protect our pets from theft!