While the American Kennel Club reports a 32 percent increase in dog thefts last year, it is currently not a problem in Fairfax County.
The club, which has been tracking such thefts since 2007, says the most common way thieves snatch the dogs is when pets are kept in cars or tied up outside stores while owners are doing errands, says the ASPCA blog, which reported the data. Dognappings often increase during the summer when owners are more apt to combine dog-walking with running errands.
The American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals says pets also are sometimes stolen from yards or during burglaries.
Michael Lucas, chief of Animal Control for Fairfax County, said his office hasn't worked a dog larceny case in the last year.
"They are a rare issue here and normally it would be someone who takes the dog because they feel it is mistreated," Lucas wrote in an email to Patch.
However, the Animal Services Division of the Fairfax County Police Department recommends pet owners:
- Obtain a current annual dog license for your dog.
- Keep a collar and tags with your current phone number and/or address on your pet.
- Microchip your pets. You must register your pet's microchip for a shelter to link the pet back to you. (The Fairfax County animal shelter generally scans all dogs, cats and large birds for microchips and has returned pets to their owners quickly because of microchips.)
- Keep dogs on a leash and under your control at all times.