How to avoid the tragedy of pet theft • Long Beach Post News

A few days later, without police intervention, someone fired Hazel anonymously, possibly because of detailed video footage of the suspects the family made public.

“The video went around so fast, they gave the dog back so fast – the police said it was one for the books!” said Ange Valadez. “I can’t believe anyone could be so down.”

Pet theft is increasing across the country. Sources cite 2 million animals reported stolen each year, and the number could be higher considering that other animals may not be reported stolen or may be suspected of being lost or having run away. In February 2021, two of Lady Gaga’s French Bulldogs were stolen at gunpoint from his dog walker.

But whether you’re Lady Gaga or parents of crying, inconsolable children like the Valadezes, you’ll probably agree that stealing from a cherished furry or feathered family member is heartbreaking and heartless and that the penalties for the theft are not severe enough. Most states have animal cruelty laws, but pets are only considered property in each state. This would seem absurd to anyone who has ever loved an animal.

Reasons why people steal someone’s pet

Even if you’ve never tormented yourself over a stolen or missing animal, wondering if it’s being fed properly or not at all, if it’s mistreated, if it wants you the way you are for him, even if you don’t have a pet, you might wonder how anyone could stoop to that level and why would they do such a thing. There seem to be two main reasons: absolute selfishness and greed. Pets aren’t cars or catalytic converters or priceless heirloom brooches, but like those things, they can be traded or used for profit.

The main reasons for pet theft are:

  • dog flip Google this – it’s a hokey term for stealing someone’s pet and selling it online for a huge profit. Thoughtless Fins also adopt purebred lookalikes from shelters and rescues for the same purpose and will sometimes go so far as to claim a pet someone has found, pay any rewards offered by the actual human, and sell the animal. animal several times more than the reward. amount. If you have found a pet and posted an ad or posted flyers, always ask for proof of ownership such as photos and tags before giving up.
  • Breeding and over-breeding The dogs most often stolen are small, purebred dogs that are easy to lift unless they have Chico Valadez’s moxie. French bulldogs, American bulldogs, Yorkshire terriers, Maltese, designer dogs and Chihuahuas are among the most frequently captured dogs; the same goes for puppies of larger breeds like German Shepherds and Labradors.
  • Sale to Puppy Mills See above.
  • Bait dogs and fighting dogs Puppies, usually Dobermans, German Shepherd breeds and Pit Bulls, can be trained to bait fighting dogs or bred to fight themselves. Kittens and rabbits are also stolen for this horrible purpose.
  • Awards Thieves sometimes steal animals and expect a reward.
keep them close

People who treat their pets like family don’t even think of “my property” when protecting them, but law enforcement advises taking similar precautions to prevent theft of anything. that is.

“The LBPD reminds our community to remain vigilant, avoid getting into altercations with suspects, and to call 9-1-1 if they are robbed,” said Brandon Fahey, head of LBPD public information. “Pet owners should also incorporate theft and burglary prevention strategies into their daily routines to reduce the likelihood of their pet being taken from them at home or away.”

Here are some ideas for keeping your furry limbs safe:

  • Most importantly, don’t leave your pets outside roaming or unattended in the yard or on porches.
  • Have your pets microchipped. If caught and manage to escape, these fleas virtually guarantee a return home, and they cannot be removed like a collar and tag can. They also serve as proof of ownership.
  • Keep your dogs on a leash when walking them and avoid your cell phone. Give your surroundings your full attention. Don’t tie them outside of a business.
  • For the love of Pete, neuter or neuter your pet. Cats are less likely to roam, and a dog unable to breed is worthless to a backyard breeder.

If your pet is stolen, here’s another handful of bullets:

  • Immediately report the theft to the police.
  • Create a flyer with your pet’s name, fur and eye color and other identifying marks, where the pet was last seen, and a 24-hour contact number. them everywhere — vet offices, animal shelters, cafes, shelters, and on social media — and also let your local animal shelter know.
  • Do what the Valadez did and see if there’s any camera footage. Share it publicly.
  • Check your shelter’s admissions list, Nextdoor, and other social media that feature found animals. Facebook has several located.
  • Consult lost animal databases
  • Check online listings and postings of pets for sale. Look for descriptions that would mark the animal as yours.
  • Walk around the neighborhood and call your pet’s name in case they are nearby.
  • If someone calls saying they have your pet, ask specific questions to make sure they really have the animal. Ask where the animal was found, especially if you offered a reward. Whatever you do, don’t confront the person without contacting law enforcement. If you have already filed a police report, this is a big help.

Animal tracing services like Pawboost can be useful. Pawboost services include a flyer, Facebook post, and alerts to residents living in your area. Upgrades are available for a fee. (Be sure to check any posts from anyone claiming to work with Pawboost. Like everything else, Pawboost Scams are over there.)

Hazel Valadez is happy now, at home with her grateful family, who thank the public for sharing the video footage. Angel Valadez said Hazel and Chico no longer go out unsupervised.

“We take them out, we play with them out, then we take them out,” Valadez said. He hopes everyone will learn from his family’s experience.

“The first night she disappeared, I was wondering if they were feeding her,” he said. “My children were crying all the time. When she came back, she was skinny and dirty. It took us three days to pamper her so that she gets better. She looked scared and she went back to normal.

“I wouldn’t want what happened to me to happen to you. Thanks to everyone who helped get Hazel back. She is our family.

A stolen puppy is returned to his family anonymously after being taken away on Friday afternoon