By Suzanne Alicie
For most pet owners, our dogs are a part of the family. We do everything we can to provide them with a happy, healthy life and a secure area to play outside, but there are people out there who steal animals. They take dogs right from their yards if they are left unattended. Or if a dog gets out of his yard, instead of attempting to find the owner they simply keep the dog.
Some pet thefts are for nefarious reasons while some people take pets to “adopt” them, and others will sell pets to make money. No matter what the reason, it is heartbreaking for you and your family. While there is no absolute guarantee besides never letting your dog out of your sight, there are a few things you can do to help prevent pet theft.
Secure Your Yard
The first thing is to make sure your yard or play area is secure, where your dog cannot get out and where people are not tempted to go in. While it may look unsightly, a bit of barbed wire across the top of your fence can be a good deterrent. A tilted ledge can keep people from being able to reach in and grab your dog’s collar or climb in to take your dog. A locking gate is also important, as well as a “no trespassing” sign. Believe it or not, thieves feel that if it’s not posted they are free to wander in as they please.
No matter how secure the area may seem to be, always check on your dog frequently while he’s playing outside. Never go away for the day leaving your dog in the yard; put him inside where he will be safe from thieves and from any outside dangers while you aren’t there to keep an eye on him. If you go to a dog park, keep your dog on a leash to avoid giving thieves an opportunity to make off with him when he goes to fetch a ball. Keep unleashed play restricted to your yard.