Beware Of Bichon Frise Dog-Nappers!

2009 September 10

Bichon puppy

The American Kennel Club first alerted the public to this growing trend of Dog-Napping in April and has continued to informally track incidents of dog theft.  At least 71 dog thefts were covered in media reports; so far this year, there have been more than 100. In response, a number of states have considered legislation that would address pet theft. The Texas legislature, for example, considered a law making pet theft a felony, while California and Delaware have tried to regulate roadside pet sales, where stolen pets are often resold.

There are many reasons why someone would steal a pet, but primarily, criminals have become aware of the financial and emotional value dogs have in a society that increasingly regards pets as family members. Some thieves aim to collect a ransom (and a few successfully have, as in a recent California incident where the pet owner paid $10,000 for the return of a dog taken from her parked car); others are simply trying to make a few hundred dollars by selling the dog to unsuspecting buyers. Some thieves may want to keep the pets as their own.

Here are some tips to help you avoid falling victim to pet-nappers:

• Don’t leave your Bichon Frise dog unattended in your yard. Dogs left outdoors for long periods are targets, especially if your fenced-in yard is visible from the street.
• Be cautious with information. If strangers approach to admire your Bichon during walks, don’t answer questions about how much the Bichon costed or give details about where you live.
• Never leave your Bichon Frise in an unattended car, even if it’s locked. Besides the obvious health risks this poses to the dog, it’s also an invitation for thieves, even if you are gone for only a moment. Leaving expensive items in the car such as a GPS unit or laptop will only encourage break-ins and possibly allow the Bichon to escape, even if the thieves don’t decide to steal the pet, too.
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