I got an email last week from a friend of mine, asking for advice. Apparently, a friend of hers had left their dog -- a chocolate Cocker Spaniel -- tied up outside their neighborhood deli in Brooklyn while they ran in to quickly grab something. When he came back outside, his dog was gone. And sadly, it only took a split second.
What people don't realize is that there are a lot of crazy, greedy and unkind people out there who often steal dogs like this one for their own benefit. Whether their intent is bad: selling the dog or, worse, using it as bait in dog fighting rings; or good: they honestly believe they're saving a dog from potential ill fate,\; this is very stressful for both the dog and the dog owner.
I'll get to how the story ends in a moment. In the meantime, here are a few tips for dog owners if they ever find themselves a victim of dog theft:
- Immediately notify your vet in case someone brings the dog in or inquires about its health records
- Notify all vets in your area in case they see your dog
- Distribute flyers in public places in case others spot your dog
- Check Craig's List and other local resources to see if someone might be trying to sell your dog
- Check with the local shelters to see if someone might have found your dog
Last Sunday, a few days after this dog went missing, I got another email from my friend telling me that its vet had gotten a call requesting copies of its health records. The person calling wouldn't identify themselves nor was the number they were calling from available. Naturally the vet denied their request. The good news here is that it seemed the person who stole the dog wanted to provide it with proper care. The bad news is that this was a dead end lead.
Then came the wonderfully amazing end to this story. My friend emailed me a couple hours later letting me know her friend's had found their dog! Apparently someone spotted the dog on the Promenade and notified the owners. The police were called and they found the dog at the home of a woman who claimed to have paid $500 for it on the street and she was the rightful owner. After a quick trip to the vet, where the dog was scanned for a microchip, it was identified as the stolen pet and immediately returned to its rightful owners. And now, dog and owner are safely and happily back home together!
The moral of this story is this:
- NEVER EVER leave your dog unattended, not even for a moment!
- Always make sure your dog has proper identification -- both i.d. tag and microchip because the tag can easily be removed
- If your dog goes missing, take immediate action and don't give up!
Your story too can have a happy ending, but best not to tempt fate. Keeping your dog close means keeping your dog safe!
WE LOVE HAPPY ENDINGS!