6. Avoid giving personal information to strangers
If a friendly stranger seems all too interested in the details of your pooch’s pedigree, be suspicious. Of course it’s fine if folks want to chat about what a cute mix your mutt is, but if they start asking how much you paid for your dog, where you live, or if you bought from a breeder—clam up!
7. Be wary of purchasing a dog advertised online
Dana and Mike Jancarole were lucky enough to be reunited with their Husky, Koda thanks to the kindness of the couple who unknowingly purchased their stolen pooch on Craiglist. Unfortunately, too many other families do not get such a happy ending when their dog is stolen. You may believe you are rescuing a dog from a dangerous fate by answering an online ad, but as long as criminals keep making money this way they will be encouraged to keep ‘napping!
8. Newspaper ads may be shady, too
Classified ads in print give the impression of legitimacy since the person placing the ad has had to provide personal info, but even these can be suspicious. Dog thieves can provide false information and pre-paid cell phone numbers for the ad. The goal is to sell the dog off quickly and place the next ad with completely different information in order to maintain their cover.
9. Re-homers should never expect money
If someone claims that they are simply looking for a good home for a dog they can no longer care for, but ask you for a “re-homing fee,” a red flag should go up. A person who is genuinely concerned about placing an animal with a loving new family should not be concerned about recouping any costs they have incurred for the pet. That dog may be a victim of dognapping and you should alert authorities immediately.
Please note: If for some reason you find yourself with no option but to give up your dog, please do not take matters into your own hands. Contacting a shelter—who will complete thorough background checks, interviews, and home visits for potential adopters—is the safest way to find your dog a new family.
10. If you are interested in purchasing a purebred dog, be sure to research the breeder and insist on seeing the mother, father, and littermates
Too many unscrupulous individuals have given responsible breeders a bad name. Professional breeders who love the animals and breed them humanely are out there, you just have to find them. If you come across a “breeder” who asks to meet you at a neutral location and refuses to show you the parents and littermates of the dog they are selling,run! Even if the pup was not stolen, something shady is going on. Responsible breeders are proud to show off their dogs.
11. Consider a rescue even if you want a purebred dog
Some folks just adore a certain breed, but that doesn’t mean you can’t rescue! There are rescue groups dedicated to specific breeds all over the country. Often, purebred pups end up in shelters when unprepared owners surrender them. If you know your next dog has to be a specific breed, do some research to see if a rescue dog might be a good fit for your family. Dognappers target pure-breeds for their popularity. Adopting from a rescue not only discourages thieves, it saves a deserving life!
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