One in three pets will become lost at some point in their lives, according to HomeAgain. But not all of these pets jumped the fence or ran away when they heard thunder, some are stolen in a scheme called dog flipping. Dog flipping is when someone tries to make a profit selling your dog online. The practice is on the rise, with nearly 350 occurrences this year.
To keep your precious pups safe, consider these tips from the North Shore Animal League America.
1. Never leave your pup unattended
Be vigilant. Thieves are known to steal dogs from owners’ own backyards. Keep a close eye on your pooch at home, but especially in public. Never leave your dog tied up outside to run even the quickest errand.
2. Secure your property
Add locks to your fence, and consider installing cameras watching over your pup’s play area.
3. Microchip your pooch
Should you ever find your “lost” dog listed on Craigslist, a microchip can help prove that you are the rightful owner.
4. Keep documentation
Just like your microchip, ownership papers and vet records go a long way in proving a dog is yours.
5. Be nice, but not too nice
Dogs seem to be stranger magnets. And while you might not want to ignore every person who tries to talk to you, if someone starts asking questions about how much your dog cost, whether your pup is full bred, or where you live, beware. In this case, I’d kindly say you have to go.
If your dog goes missing…
Check your local vets’ offices and shelters. Put out lost pet alerts through social media, but don’t forget to check out Craigslist-esque sites where dog flipping is prevalent.