Pet Theft Awareness Day is meant to call attention to the importance of pet identification methods. It is a day for considering just how much the presence of an animal can enrich a family and also the responsibility that goes with it. It is a day that encourages those families and individuals who have pets to take steps to ensure the animal’s security as well as their own peace of mind.
History of Pet Theft Awareness Day
Launched in 1988 by the Last Chance for Animals organization, Pet Theft Awareness Day is aimed at educating animal owners on how to keep their pets safe from thieves. Many people are not aware that almost 2 million pets are stolen annually in the United States alone, so the threat is very real.
It’s hard for honest people who are pet owners to think about the idea of stealing someone else’s pet. That’s like kidnapping! But those who are motivated to perform such a crime often do so for financial gain, for a desire for personal companionship they can’t afford on their own, or sometimes using the pet for illegal activities.
Pets who are purebred may be particularly susceptible to such crimes because they are worth something on the black market. Or they can be taken for breeding purposes and their puppies or kittens could then be sold. Smaller pets may also be more vulnerable for theft, probably because they are easier to transport.
Sadly, as a side effect of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns, there was a significant uptick in the number of pet thefts in 2020. Because so many people were interested in adopting pets during this time, the demand for them increased and pet thieves took advantage of it by stealing.
So it is vitally important that pet owners become aware of the risk their pets might be in and take precaution not only on Pet Theft Awareness Day, but every day!
How to Celebrate Pet Theft Awareness Day
Check out some of these important ways that it’s possible to make plans to keep those pets in good care and observe Pet Theft Awareness Day:
Keep Pets Safe and Secure
A good way to help keep pets safe is through adequate training, especially dogs. In fact, well-trained dogs are much less likely to either wander off or to be stolen because they are kept closer to home. In addition, dogs that are neutered may be less likely to be stolen because they are useless to those who might want to use them for breeding. It’s also important to remember on Pet Theft Awareness Day to provide pets a safe place for pets at home, with an adequately tall fence, alarms, or other theft prevention measures.
Choose Pet Marking or Tagging
Two options are available to help keep pets safe by marking them, with either a microchip or a tattoo. The microchip is a fairly painless procedure which can be accomplished at the vet’s office which allows pets to be tracked, whether they have run away or are stolen. While it can’t prevent pet theft, the microchip can help to locate a pet who is missing.
Those who choose tattooing might find that it can provide an opportunity for some group bonding. An indelible imprint denoting who belongs to whom can bind human family members to their pets until death do them part. Of course, this idea is not for the more fickle or faint of heart, though.
Adopt a Rescue Pet
When adding a new four-legged friend to become a member of the family, instead of heading out to a breeder, go to a pet rescue or animal shelter. Not only does this help a pet that is in desperate need of a home (instead of adding to the population by breeding), but it also could prevent pet theft because it would typically remove the motivation of stealing a pet for breeding purposes.