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Pet Wellness

What You Should Do if Your Pet Is Stolen

At the Humane Rescue Alliance, we try to improve the human-animal bond in many ways — through adoptions, programs and services that keep pets with their families, and affordable medical care to keep pets healthy. We also do whatever we can to reunite lost pets with their people.

Dogs go missing for a variety of reasons, but one frightening cause is pet theft.

Here are some ways to keep your pet safe from this possibility:

  • Make sure your pet is microchipped and that your contact information is current.
  • Your pet should always wear a collar and identification tag with your name, address, and phone number.
  • Take up-to-date pictures of your pet from all angles and note any distinguishing features. 
  • Keep veterinary records as well as photographs of yourself with your pet so you can prove you are the owner.
  • Don’t leave your pet anywhere you wouldn’t leave a child. Never leave your dog tied up or unattended outside, even in your own backyard.
  • Keep your pet on a leash. We advise against retractable leashes; they can easily break and provide less control than a standard leash.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.

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If your pet is stolen, act quickly:

  • Call the police and file the report as a theft rather than a lost animal.
  • Share information about the theft and photos of your pet with local veterinarians and groomers, as well as on social media sites and neighborhood listservs like Twitter, Facebook, and Nextdoor.
  • Post flyers throughout your neighborhood and offer a reward for your pet’s safe return.  
  • Alert your local media to publicize the theft and caution other pet guardians.

By taking steps to be intentional about your pet’s safety, you can decrease the risk of pet theft and improve your chances of being reunited if the unthinkable happens and your pet is stolen.

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