Prevent Lost Pets

Tips to Prevent Pet Theft

Tips to Prevent Pet Theft

Pet theft is an owner's worst nightmare and unfortunately it is on the rise. Pets of all sizes and breeds are being stolen from pet shelters, cars, and even backyards. Here are some tips to help you prevent this from happening to your furry, best friend.

1. Don't allow your pet to be unattended in your backyard or any open space.

Pets playing in an open space usually attract a lot of attention. When left alone, it makes it easier for someone to steal your pet. Even if your backyard is fenced, it is never a good idea to leave your pet unattended.

2. Refrain from tying your pet to pole while you go inside a shop.

You may have just gone inside for just 5 minutes, however it takes only a couple of seconds for someone to untie you pet and walk away with your furry baby.

3. Use a leash at all times.

No matter how well trained your pet is, strange noises and other animals can spook your dog. A dog that runs off can be easily picked up and taken by someone else.

4. Avoid leaving your dog alone in a car, even if it's locked.

Not only is this dangerous for your pet, but thieves may choose to break into your car because of your pet! Heat stroke can occur even when temperatures in the car are mild and can be fatal to your pet.

5. Microchip your pet.

  • A microchip is safe and affordable. A pet thief will not know that a pet is microchipped until a veterinarian or a shelter worker scans your dog or cat. While being scanned, the microchip emits a low radio frequency that provides the information needed to uniquely identify your pet.
  • 1 in 3 pets go missing.1 By microchipping your pet you are giving it the best possible chance of coming back home safely and quickly. You can microchip your pet easily through Homeagain.

6. If your pet is stolen:

  • Call your microchipping company and report your pet lost or stolen. Services such as HomeAgain provide a team of dedicated Lost Pet Recovery Specialists that send rapid Lost Pet Alerts to their Pet Recovery Network of volunteer veterinarians, shelters and PetRescuers, in the area where your pet went missing. Pet parents can also create a Lost Pet Poster on the website to begin their search promptly.
  • Advertise. Post notices at local shops, community centers, veterinary offices, traffic intersections, pet supply stores and other public locations. You can also place advertisements in local newspapers and radio stations. Include your pet's sex, age, weight, breed, color and any special markings.
  • Contact local animal shelters and animal control agencies and place a lost pet report. Visit local shelters and animal control agencies if possible.
  • Contact the local police department. Provide them with a detailed description and a recent photograph of your pet. Inform the police if you believe your pet was stolen.
  • Search the neighborhood. Walk or drive through your neighborhood several times each day, and ask people you see if they have seen your pet. Make sure to have flyers with a recent picture of your pet and information on how you can be reached if your pet is found.
  • Don't give up your search. Animals that have been lost for months have been reunited with their owners.
  • Make sure your pet always has identification. A pet has a better chance of being returned if they always wears a collar and an ID tag with your name, address and telephone number and/or have a microchip. Ask your veterinarian or local shelter if you'd like to know more about microchipping.

Written by Dhilati Oza, a lifelong lover of animals and animal health professional.


  1. National Council on Pet Population Study & Policy. The shelter statistics survey, 1994–97.