Pet Theft Awareness Day is celebrated on February 14 every year. Pet Theft Awareness Week runs from February 14 to 21. Pet theft is still a terrible practice worldwide. It's important this day to ask yourself how safe your pet is. The most common victims of organized pet thieves are dogs and cats. Purebred dogs are stolen the most. These stolen purebred dogs, especially toys, puppies and designer breeds are sold and shipped for two main purposes - to be used as bait in fighting dog training and to be sold to dealers through agents B for biomedical testing and experiments. Pets can be sold to puppy mills for breeding purposes. Pet theft is punishable by one to four years in prison.
History of Pet Theft Awareness Day
The Last Chance for Animals Foundation is a US-based nonprofit that advocates for animal rights and makes great documentaries against the use of animals for experimental purposes. The organization was founded in 1984 by Hollywood actor Chris DeRose as a group opposing live animal testing. In 2000, the organization focused on pet theft, the trade in furs, and pets used in circuses. In 2013, Dog Union director Arnot Wilson accidentally saw an image on social media of pet theft, which led him to establish Pet Theft Awareness; co-founder is Richard Jordan. So a day was created to spread awareness about pet theft.
Why does pet theft happen?
Pet theft often happens for one main reason: money. "Dog flip," one of the most common reasons for pet theft, occurs when dogs are stolen for the purpose of selling for a profit. Stolen dogs are often resold to unsuspecting new owners, to puppy mills, or to backyard ranchers to become breeding machines. Dognappers also target dogs so they can be used as bait or as fighters in illegal dogfights.
All it takes is seconds for your beloved pet to be stolen, dragged off your front porch, or snatched from your yard. In fact, by the time you're reading this, someone may have stolen your pet!
Which dogs are most at risk?
The breeds most at risk of being stolen are purebred dogs - especially toy breeds like the Maltese, Chihuahua, or Yorkshire terrier (which is the most stolen breed in the United States). Designer breeds like Puggles (a cross between a pug and a beagle) are also popular targets as they are worth thousands of dollars. Of course, this does not mean that a mutant is not at risk of being stolen. Regardless of pedigree, unsupervised dogs are highly likely to be caught.
How can you protect your pets?
Thankfully, there are simple ways you can help protect your pet from theft:
- Never leave your pet unattended.
- Accurately identify your pets with collars, tags and microchips.
- Speak and take care of your pet.
- Keep your pet's information up to date (recent photos and descriptions).
- Always be aware of your surroundings.
How to celebrate Pet Theft Awareness Day
Pet Theft Awareness Day aims to educate animal owners in keeping their pets safe from thieves. Pets are considered the most valuable living possession, so it is essential that dog parents are aware of the importance of this day. On this day, owners can aim to get their dog's collar ID tag and license to provide proper identity, and can also get additional security with a microchip. Never include your pet in "good homes free ads" when looking for a new home for your pet. Many other nonprofits are educating dog owners on pet theft awareness on this special day to reduce pet theft around the world. People can use the hashtag #PetTheftAwarenessDay to express their feelings about Pet Theft Awareness Day on social media.
ObservedPet Theft Awareness Day has been observed annually on February 14th.
Friday, February 14th, 2020
Sunday, February 14th, 2021
Monday, February 14th, 2022
Tuesday, February 14th, 2023
Wednesday, February 14th, 2024