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Dognapping cases up; how to protect your pet

By Catherine Hawley, Reporter, news@wfmz.com
Published On: Jan 30 2013 02:51:13 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 14 2013 05:00:01 AM CST

Dognapping cases are up 70 percent

ALLENTOWN, Pa. -

The American Kennel Club says dognapping cases are happening at an alarming rate. 

From 2010 to 2011 the number of pet thefts tracked by the club nearly doubled. 

Dogs are being stolen out of cars, yards, off sidewalks and even out of shelters.  It only takes a minute for fido to be snatched.

"People will lure a dog away from a front yard, or if they break into your car to take your Garmin there goes your dog as well," said John McDonald from Leader of the Pack Canine Institute.  "So it's very easy and quick."

According to the American Kennel Club dog napping cases are on the rise nationwide by almost 70%.

"There's an estimate that in excess of a couple million animals a year could actually be taken throughout all the United States."

McDonald is co-owner of Leader of the Pack Canine Institute.  It's a full service dog center in Allentown.  He says it doesn't matter if your pup is purebred or mixed breed, there are things you can do to prevent a dog napping from happening.

"We treat our children very safe, we should also treat our dogs safe," shared McDonald.   

Experts say make sure your dog is well trained, if you're running errands leave them home, and try not to leave canines unattended.

"Always keep your dog on a leash with you if you're out in public," added McDonald.  "And be diligent, if someone's interest in your dog seems suspicious to you, it probably is."

Microchipping is one of the best things you can do for your pet, that way you can prove ownership if your dog ends up at a vet or shelter.

Even at Leader of The Pack security is important, the entire facility is monitored by about 24 surveillance cameras.  Workers and clients can see the video live on their computer or phone.

"No dog is allowed outside unattended here at the facility and it works out well, we get them out there for play, they love it they have a good time, but it's also very safe."

But even the most careful owners can fall victim to a slick thief.

"Years ago my wife and I had a dog taken from our front yard," said McDonald.  "We did end up finding the dog in the neighborhood very shortly thereafter.

Remember happy endings are rare, so if you're dog is stolen call police immediately.