Two seperate but eqaully brazen French Bulldog thefts have been caught on film recently.
In North East England, a Durham family’s French Bulldog was stolen from their gated backyard by thieves dressed in hats and dark clothing. The theft, which was caught on their home security system, appeared to be planned in advance by thieves who were familiar with the property.
Video footage of the theft, along with the article, appears here – http://www.sunderlandecho.com/news/2500-dog-stolen-from-home.6516702.jp
There’s also a Facebook group for anyone who might be able to help, or who simply wants to send a mesasge of support.
As someone who has suffered the theft of a dog from within their own home, I can fully relate to how horrific an event this is. You’re left feeling violated and off balance – worried about your missing dog, worried the thieves might return for the rest of your pets. There’s simply no rest and no peace until you know where your dog is. My heart goes out to the McGough/McManus families.
In a different kind of theft, Virginia police are looking for a man who did a ‘snatch and grab’ theft of a pet store puppy from a Virginia Beach pet store. The man had asked to see the puppy, and while an employee was momentarily distracted, the suspect simply walked out of the store, puppy tucked inside his coat. This theft was also caught on security tape.
The store owner says he’s worried about the puppy because it ‘needs shots and veterinary care’. From the look of the puppy I saw on the screen, I hope the theif has a good supply of high test de wormer on hand.
Read more about the theft here, and watch the video.
I can’t give many tips about preventing pet store thefts, but here’s a few things I’ve learned about keeping your dogs safe at home. While some of them may sound like over kill, there’s no such thing as too much preparation if it can keep your dogs safe.
- ALWAYS microchip your dogs. Not only will chips help to bring your dogs home, but in a court case, a microchip number will be an instant identifier that will prove possesion. In our case, because I had the chip number and the chip was registered to me, I didn’t have to do anything else for the police to believe that Ruby was my dog.
- Downplay your dog’s value. When workmen or other random visitors ask about my dog, I denigrate their worth. They aren’t show dogs – they’re all rescues. Altered rescues, with health problems (the expensive kinds of health problems). I never, ever mention showing or breeding, and I have no signage on my property that indicates it, either.
- Hide your dogs from casual street view. Use fencing or hedges, and try to block the view onto your property from casual passersby. People who see a yard full of expensive looking purebreds can get ideas – and having a clear view of your property can allow them to plan out their actions in advance. We use wooden palisade fencing to block the portion of our dog yard that’s visible from the road. If you have a property like the one shown in the photo above, use protective meshing or screening across your gates, to block the view from the street.
- Keep gates locked. Yes, it’s a pain in the ass to have to go an unlock your gates just so you can drive your car on to your property, but this minor deterrant can make the difference between a theft and thief who changes his mind. Ditto locked yard gates – I know of two dogs who were stolen from their side yards, by thieves who simply called them to the gate, opened it, and picked the dog up. Padlock the gate, and remove the dreaded ‘crime of opportunity’.
- Consider getting a big, protective dog. In our case, the only thing that stopped the thieves from taking more of our dogs than just Ruby was our Mastiff, who had access to the entire property. Murfee sounded the alarm, and likely scared the beejesus out of the thief when he realized that she wasn’t locked up for the night. A big, mean looking, scary sounding dog can sometimes be all that you need to give a thief a second thought about lifting one of your dogs. Plus, Frenchies enjoy having large dogs to nap on – they regard them as sort of mobile love seats that snore.
If you have more tips, please feel free to share them. I’d like to be able to stop reading articles about stolen Frenchies – it’s becoming quite the epidemic!