Crooks sink to new low as ‘dognapping’ cases increase

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What would you do if someone stole your dog? Or your cat, for that matter?

It’s probably something that has never crossed your mind. But it is something that you should probably start thinking about. Now.

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In Brief Legal Services mascot Eli catching up on the latest news. Photo by Alexandra Bogdanovic

According to a commonly cited statistic, roughly two million companion animals are stolen in the United States each year.  Some disappear from back yards, and some vanish from “public places.” Some are snatched from cars.  Most are never seen again.

Each Valentine’s Day (February 14), Last Chance for Animals (LCA), a Los Angeles-based animal rights and advocacy group, joins similar organizations throughout the country to celebrate Pet Theft Awareness Day.  Its goal is to promote public awareness of the issue.

But to be honest, I had no idea that pet theft is so pervasive until I came across an article on an Ohio television station’s website. The account includes information about a couple that is suing an “estranged family member” who allegedly stole their dog. Shelby Patton, a plaintiff in the case, has reportedly started a petition in an effort to “change Ohio laws” so litigation is no longer necessary.

Fortunately, LCA says there are things pet owners can do to help prevent thefts. You can read those tips here.



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