How Retailers Can Help Prevent Pet Theft
It’s every pet parent’s worst nightmare: the theft of a pet. According to The American Human Society, over 10 million dogs and cats are lost or stolen in the U.S. every year.
While February 14 was officially Pet Theft Awareness Day, you don’t need the excuse of a national holiday to educate owners about the issue. Retailers, in particular, are in a prime position to help teach customers how to prevent pet theft.
Here are a few theft prevention tips to pass along to your shoppers.
1. Don’t let pets roam freely.
Keeping dogs indoors or under close supervision is the absolute best way to avoid theft. Leaving animals alone outside, in the yard, in a car or tied up outside a store, makes them vulnerable to criminals.
2. Invest in microchip ID.
Collars and tags can be removed, but a microchip is a permanent form of identification for pets. Chipped pets are much more likely to be reunited with owners, so be sure to keep contact information current.
3. Avoid buying a stolen pet.
It’s also important to avoid feeding the stolen pet market. New owners should seek out reputable breeders or rescue groups for pets rather than internet sellers because there’s no way to verify where the animal came from.
4. Have a recovery plan in place.
If you suspect your pet has been stolen, immediately contact the police and the media. Owners should also have recent photos ready as well as any relevant information, such as medical issues, microchip data and description, to be included for online and print postings.