this is a stolen dog

Someone Stole My Pet – What Can I Do?


Recent Blog:

Someone stole my dog or cat! These are words no pet parent ever wants to utter. And hopefully with the tips in this article, you’ll never need to. Interestingly, our research shows more than one in three Kiwi pet parents fears their pet will be stolen.

According to our research, 46% of dog owners and 38% of cat owners are worried their pet may be stolen.

Sadly, with the pandemic pushing the price of pets higher, pet theft has become more of a reality. People steal pets looking to make some kind of profit. These criminals are often quite professional in their operations. Therefore, just as you would with a human baby, be alert to your fur baby’s safety at all times.

Why are pets stolen?

The motivation behind someone stealing a dog or cat is usually money. And now more than ever, the rise of stolen dogs is becoming widespread. Sadly, it’s become even more profitable since COVID started.

Here are some of the main reasons cats and dogs are stolen:

  • Breeding animals. Whether that’s in puppy mills, kitten farms or on a smaller scale
  • Bait animals. Stolen pets are used for illegal dog fighting. They’re used to practice on (see here for more information)
  • Guinea pigs. Animals are used in laboratories for testing

But another completely different reason is someone thinks they’re taking in a stray. They simply don’t realise there’s a heartbroken pet parent out there thinking ‘someone stole my dog’ or ‘someone stole my cat’.

This is ample motivation to find out about cat microchips and the dog microchip that are used to identify and reunite lost pets with owners. Collars and tags can also help avoid this confusion. Not all collars are safe for cats though. Read about cat collars to see which ones are.

someone stole these dogs to use in puppy farms

Don’t support stolen dogs and cats

Of course, there are some people who want to sell the dog or cat for money or to return to the owner in exchange for a reward. Nasty business. Thinking of getting a new pet? Then read about finding ethical dog breeders so you can buy a puppy safely in New Zealand and avoid puppy scams.

10 tips to prevent your cat or dog from being stolen

Here are 10 tips for reducing the risk of your cat or dog getting stolen:

  1. Microchip and register them with the Australasian Animal Registry (the biggest database in Australia and New Zealand). Consider adding them to other databases as well.
  2. Give them a name-tagged collar – with phone number engraved – so they can’t be mistaken as a stray.
  3. Make sure your pet isn’t visible from the street. Many thieves are opportunistic. They take advantage of quick access (even while you’re at home).
  4. Secure your yard as much as possible to deter thieves from entering. This will also prevent pets from getting out and going missing. Think gates, fencing, alarms, sensor lighting and so on.
  5. Never leave your pet unattended in a public place… You wouldn’t leave your human baby alone, so don’t leave your fur baby.
  6. Keep an eye out for letterbox tagging or similar, just in case.
  7. Check references and read reviews of pet sitters, walkers etc. Also ask for ID and clearance checks before you book.
  8. If you use pet daycare, check how locked-down their property is and what their pet pick-up policy is. Read about how to find a trusted puppy school in New Zealand.
  9. Ditto when it comes to boarding kennels or similar (read about kennels vs pet sitters to help you choose)
  10. Refrain from posting images of your pet on social media and other websites, especially if they’re purebred dogs or purebred cats.
Certain breeds are more at risk

Be aware that certain breeds fetch a higher price. That makes them prime targets of pet thieves. Hybrid dog breeds like the Spoodle and Cavoodle, for example, are in vogue and costly to buy.

If you’re concerned and feel your pet is at risk, you might want to consider installing security cameras around your house. After all, safety measures can really help bring oodles of peace of mind. Like, for instance, having pet insurance for all those unforeseen accidents and illnesses.

BTW, if you’re wondering is pet insurance worth it, wonder no more… Read about why Kiwi pet owners are choosing pet insurance for cats and dogs.

cat kept indoors to prevent it from being stolen

What do I do if someone stole my dog or cat?

You may not be able to 100% guarantee the safety of your pet. Because no matter how much effort you put into protecting your loved one. After all, you can’t be with them 24/7.

But what can you do if your pet is stolen? There are specific steps to take. And each of them gives you a better chance of being reunited with your furry friend. Here’s a list to get you started.

Steps to take

  • Update your pet’s microchip (see above) with missing status.
  • Ask neighbours if they have any CCTV footage that might show something.
  • Report to police that ‘someone stole my dog (or cat)’. Give them as many details surrounding the situation as possible. Provide any footage you’ve found.
  • Search the neighbourhood. Knock on doors as you go and provide neighbours with a flyer or photo of your missing pet.
  • Put posters up around the local streets, providing similar details and potentially even a reward (even if it’s not as high as this one).
  • Tag your car with a big poster of your stolen pet and your contact details.
  • Contact your local council and animal rescue centres. Check if any pets have been handed in that match the right description.
  • Post about your loss to sites such as Lost and Stolen Dogs NZ. Explain that your cat or dog may have been stolen. This is very different to an animal getting lost (read about what to do if you’ve found a lost pet in a fire or flood).
  • Notify any local vets and those out of the area. This helps prevent someone else from claiming your fur baby as their own. But of course, more importantly it’s about getting your pet back home as soon as possible.

Read how to find lost pets for more tips. And finally, don’t lose faith. Read about how this NZ dog mum found her stolen dog for inspiration. And

Give a soft landing with pet insurance

Pet insurance won’t prevent your pet from being stolen or lost. But it means you can get affordable, quality medical care for them upon their return. Want to know how? Then check out our three options for dog insurance and cat insurance.

All our plans include cover for non-routine vet visits, surgery, hospitalisation, medicine and much more. Plus you can choose whichever plan best suits your pocket and your pet. For example the accident plan that covers all the basics to the classic and deluxe plan that even covers dental issues.

And you’ll be happy to know that depending on your meowser or woofer’s age, you get one or more months of free pet insurance! So why wait for furballs to happen? Rather, protect your pet today. Go on, click below to get started.

Share on :