How often do we hear on the news about another stolen pet or one locked in a hot car?

“It’s like losing a child!” For so many of us pet owners, add in the feelings of guilt and remorse and we’re in a terrible situation.

In most states, Law Enforcement Authorities do not distinguish the theft of pets from other property crimes. Also, many thefts go unreported, so there are few reliable statistics available. However, some advocate groups claim up to two million pets are stolen every year.

The American Kennel Club, tracked more than 590 reported pet thefts in the U.S. in 2013, which was a 33% increase over the previous year.

Sometimes, thefts are pre-meditated – stealing pets for ransom or resale.

Other times they’re crimes of opportunity.

So what can you do to prevent dognapping? Here are 6 tips:

1. Microchip your dog, and keep your information up-to-date with the vet who placed it. Collars and tags can be easily removed, but microchip IDs are embedded under the skin.

2. Always keep your dog on a lead. It only takes seconds for a thief to pick up a loose dog and run. If you’re in an open area, keep a close eye on those around you.

3. Try not to leave your dog unattended in your front yard, outside a store or in your car! Remember, on a warm day, a pet can get heat stroke so quickly. Even If you leave the windows down, someone might steal your stuff, your pet, or the vehicle itself. Lock your car while getting gas too!

4. Don’t share your routes and habits with those you don’t know well, Often theft’s are pre-meditated.

5. Keep a current photo on your phone along with a detailed description of your pet, their microchip tacking details and licence tag #.

6. Never share with people that you’re going away for the evening, until after you’re home again.

Whenever you’re out or even at home overnight, make sure your alarm panel is activated. Today we can install pet-immune sensors to allow for them walking around and not setting off a false alarm activation.

So, be prepared –  if your pet goes missing, check with your neighbors, then immediately post on Social Media. If nothing happens within a few hours, consider putting up posters in the neighborhood and call the local shelters.

If you suspect theft, contact your local Police right away and share on Facebook. Expand your search as needed. Dogs could be in a locked garage or simply running with no idea how far they’ve gone.

At BSG – we love pets and it’s our mission in life to protect you, your family and your home. We’re locally owned and operated and would be happy to visit with your to offer our professional advice to protect your home. Contact a BSG Expert today to learn more 855-MYSMARTHOME

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