Friday, January 30, 2009

Dogs for sale -- er, for the taking

Are stealing pets an epidemic in Amarillo? No, but it does happen as Pam Adams can attest in today's column. And it's an epidemic if it happens to you.

But stealing dogs does seem to be on the rise nationally and that's probably true here as well. And why? Like any other problem, it's the economy.

“I’m sure the economy and hard times make people desperate and more brazen in terms of what they think they can get away with," Alan Reznik, editor-at-large of Dog World told msnbc. "I think it’s easy to steal dogs and to dispose of them now because there are so many Web sites and outlets for selling a dog. If somebody were selling, say, a Cavalier [King Charles spaniel] for $1,500 rather than $3,000, with no papers, there are a lot of people who would say ‘That’s a gift; I’m not going to ask questions.’ ”

With Valentine's Day around the corner, thefts of animals could increse.

Some dogs appear to be stolen to literally be given as gifts, says Lisa Peterson, spokesperson for the American Kennel Club.

“Last year, thefts increased around Valentine’s Day, so perhaps some people stole a puppy to give as a gift,” Peterson says. “Other people take them just because they want them for their own personal pet and they don’t want to pay for them or take the time to do it responsibly.”

At the very least, dogs should be micro-chipped so if found, there won't be any dispute of ownership.

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