Pet Thefts Continue to Rise

January 10, 2017 in Aerowood Animal Hospital

The number of dogs stolen each year in the U.S. has continued to rise every year since 2010. The American Kennel Club (AKC) recently announced 831 dogs were stolen in 2015, an increase of 30 percent from 2014. In reality, this number is much higher considering the total only includes AKC-recognized breeds and doesn’t include cats and other pets. Sadly, pets are often stolen for monetary reasons, to sell for a profit or collect a reward for “finding a lost pet.” Dogs that are not spayed or neutered may be sold for a high price to breeders or puppy mills.


Pit bulls are the most commonly stolen dog, followed by Yorkshire terriers, Chihuahuas, bulldogs, Pomeranians, Shih Tzu, and German shepherds. You can take steps to reduce your pet’s chances of becoming a victim of theft.


  1. Keep an eye on your pet at all times when not on a leash in your hand.
  2. Don’t share information pertaining to the cost of your dog or where you live with strangers.
  3. Consider a microchip for your pet or keep an up-to-date photo to prove that you’re the rightful owner.


Avoid buying a stolen pet by staying away from places where you cannot verify the animal’s origins. This can include flea markets, roadside stands or vans, and newspaper or internet ads. If you are looking to add a pet to your family, consider adopting from a reputable animal shelter or rescue organization.

Print Friendly