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In the News

06.20.2007

Dog Nappings
The American Kennel Club® reminds pet owners about an alarming rise in “dog-nappings.” State houses across America have taken notice and are proposing laws to toughen penalties for pet thieves. Since last year, AKC® noted the prevalence of pet theft and that more dogs are disappearing. Through November 2009, AKC tracked more than 115 missing pets via incidents reported by news media and customers. In 2008, AKC tracked 71 thefts. The FBI’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC) currently lists 200 stolen dogs. According to Steve Fischer, FBI spokesman, “Dogs listed in our database must have permanent owner-applied serial numbers, such as those from embedded microchips. Unfortunately not all dogs have permanent ID, so we know this is only a fraction of the number of missing dogs.”

As owners view their dogs as valued family members, the value of pets in people’s lives are being recognized by legislators across America. Recently in New York, following the disappearance of a Siberian Husky in his Brooklyn district, NY Assemblyman Joseph Lentol vowed to introduce dog-napping legislation which would make the theft of a companion animal a felony offense with up to four years in jail. Also, a bill was introduced in Texas which would have made it a state felony to steal a pet, including the family dog, with a possible two years in prison. California and Delaware have tried to regulate roadside pet sales as a way to combat trafficking of stolen pets to unsuspecting consumers. Criminals need to know that pet owners are becoming proactive by keeping pets close to them and also microchipping their pets so that when dogs turn up at shelters or veterinarian offices they can be scanned to find their rightful owners. AKC offers this advice to prevent your “best friend” from being stolen:
In the Neighborhood
Don’t let your dog off-leash: Keeping your dog close to you reduces the likelihood it will wander off and catch the attention of thieves.
Don’t leave your dog unattended in your yard: Dogs left outdoors for long periods of time are targets, especially if your fenced-in yard is visible from the street.
Be Cautious with information: If strangers approach you to admire your dog during walks, don’t answer questions about how much the dog cost or say where you live.
On the Road
Never leave your dog in an unattended car, even if it’s locked: Besides health risks, it’s 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 dog to escape, even if the thieves don’t decide to steal it too.
Don’t tie your dog outside a store: This popular practice among city-dwelling dog owners can be a recipe for disaster. If you need to go shopping, patronize only dog-friendly retailers or leave the dog at home.
RECOVERY
Protect your dog with microchip identification: Collars and tags can be removed so have permanent ID with a microchip. Thieves will not know the dog has a microchip until a veterinarian or shelter worker scans it so keep contact information current with your microchip recovery service provider. (This helped Mary find Farley!)
Lost Pet Alert: AKC Companion Animal Recovery is the exclusive pet recovery service working with helpmefindMYPET.com to help owners locate stolen or lost pets. Once you report your dog missing an e-mail alert is sent to area vets, shelters, and animal control agencies within a 50-mile radius to notify them to be on the lookout. For more information, enroll your pet in a 24-hour recovery service and sign-up for the Lost Pet Alert visit http://www.akccar.org.
If you suspect your dog has been stolen: Immediately call the police / animal control officer in the area your pet was last seen and file a police report. If your dog has a microchip, ask to have that unique serial number, along with the dog’s description, posted in the “stolen article” category on the National Crime Information Center.
Canvas the neighborhood: Talk to people in the immediate vicinity where your pet went missing for possible sightings of the actual theft.
Have fliers with a recent photo ready to go if your dog goes missing: Keep several current photos (profile and headshot) of your dog in your wallet or on an easily accessible web account so that you can distribute immediately if your pet goes missing.
Contact the media: Call the local TV station, radio station and newspaper and ask to have a web post put out about your missing pet.
DON’T BUY STOLEN PETS
Don’t buy dogs from the internet, flea markets, or roadside vans. There is simply no way to verify where an animal purchased from any of these outlets came from. Web sites and online classifieds are easily falsified, and with roadside or flea market purchases not only do you not know the pet’s origins but you will never be able to find or identify the seller in case of a problem.
Even newspaper ads may be suspect: Adult dogs offered for sale at reduced prices, for a “relocation” fee, or accompanied by requests for last minute shipping fees are red flags. Dog owners who truly love their animals and are unable to keep them will opt to find a loving home without compensation for re-homing the animal.
Seek out reputable breeders or rescue groups: Visit the home of the breeder, meet the puppy’s mother, see the litter of puppies. Developing a good relationship with the breeder will bring you peace of mind when purchasing. Contacting breed rescue groups can also be a safe alternative if you are looking for an adult dog.
Demand proper papers on your purebred puppy: Ask for the AKC Litter Registration Number and contact AKC customer service at 919-233-9767 to verify registration authenticity of your purebred puppy.

Ruff Hikes by Walter O'Brien, correspondent, Courier News

It's the perfect time of year to hit the hiking trails, and New Jersey has some of the best in the country. But you wouldn't go off into the woods and leave your favorite four-footed friend home alone, would you? Your dog loves the great outdoors as much as you do... Jasch ... has researched the best spots first-hand.

(A) favorite is Six Mile Run Reservoir Site, part of the Delaware & Raritan Canal State Park in Franklin Township (Somerset County). "You have to cross Six Mile Run, a feisty little creek that can be pretty deep after a rainfall," Jasch said. "Once I was up to my knees but I just started wading across and I felt like a kid again, playing in the woods. My dog loved it, and he went for a little swim." (The Courier News, May 13, 2007)


Six Mile Run


Hike with Your Dog by Elisa D. Keller, staff writer, The New Jersey Sunday Herald

As Mary Jasch's truck pulled into the Kittle Field parking lot in Stokes State Forest, her passenger's excitement was palpable. Farley, her 12-year-old Labrador and German Shepherd mix, was going to join her on a hike. .........

(Montague resident Lance) Casper added, "Humans like the hike itself because of the scenic value. Some of the hikes are very historic, and and you can do the hike one time, do it a second time and see something different. It may be a different time of year. You may see different flowers blooming.


Pochuck Boardwalk - late summer


Pochuck Boardwalk - winter

"And winter hikes are great because you see so many footprints," said Casper. His dog's attitude, he chuckles, is "Just take me. I'll go anywhere you take me." (New Jersey Sunday Herald, June 24, 2007)

Recorder Newspapers, New Jersey Conservation Foundation

11.30.2007


Trail Walker, New York-New Jersey Trail Conference

12.01.2007




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