Pet Theft Awareness Day
Submitted by Lisa Yackel, CVPM, PHR
Hospital Administrator at Case Veterinary Hospital
Who knew Valentineâ€™s Day this year shared the limelight with Pet Theft Awareness Day! I can be assured that I would win a bet that says Valentineâ€™s Day will get more media play than Pet Theft Awareness Day. That being said, it is certainly a worthwhile thing to highlight in todayâ€™s blog.
Nearly 2 million companion animals are stolen in the United States each year. Unfortunately, most stolen pet cases go unreported, so this number is actually even higher! Some are taken under false pretense through â€ťfree to good homeâ€ť ads, abducted from their yards, or are taken from humane shelters through a practice called pound seizure . These animals are then sold to research laboratories, dog-fighting rings, or puppy mills, where they are abused, tortured, and often killed. The subject of dog fighting rings made National news when Michael Vick was found guilty of running a ring. Donâ€™t be lulled into thinking that it only happens â€śelsewhereâ€ť. In December, the Savannah Morning News reported a Garden City man was arrested in a suspected dog fighting ring. Charges included cruelty to animals and dog fighting.
At Case Veterinary Hospital, we are strong proponents of micro-chipping your pet. Most of our clients who choose to â€śchipâ€ť their pets do so for recovery purposes in case they are lost. We donâ€™t like to think of our poor dog or cat being lost, much less being kidnapped. The scenario changes though when your pet starts out being lost and then a research lab or a dog-fighting promoter â€śadoptsâ€ť your pet from a local shelter under false pretenses. Having that chip embedded gives you assurance that you will be called if your pet is found before a predator comes swooping in.
http://www.stolenpets.com/missing.htm is a web site for action plans if your pet is lost. Protect your pet by having him/her micro-chipped, by not allowing them to be outside unattended without an enclosed yard, and by screening any potential new owner carefully if you have to relinquish your pet. Valentineâ€™s Day is a day to celebrate those you love in your life. What better gift to give your pet for Valentineâ€™s Day than a micro-chip? ( I was wondering how I was going to make a connection between these two events that share February 14th!)