Karen Fox is a responsible dog owner who had her beloved pet microchipped. She wanted the extra safeguard in case he was lost or stolen. One fateful day in March of 2008, a red truck rolled up and someone jumped out and stole the Yorkshire Terrier named Connor out of her yard. The Fox’s jumped in their vehicle and tried to apprehend the vehicle to get their dog back, but they couldn’t catch up. The dognapping happened at their home in Nashville, Tennessee. They continued to search for the red truck or any sign of Connor, but their efforts were unfruitful. Months turned into years and it became apparent that they would never see their pet again. The Fox’s lost all hope of ever hearing anything more about him.
On March 4, 2021, Karen Fox received a phone call from the Metro Nashville Animal Control agency. The news she received was something that she never expected to hear. According to People.com Pets, the person on the other end of the line was calling to inform Karen that her dog Connor had been found. He was three years old at the time that he was stolen and the dog was now 16 years old. After 13 years, Fox finally had the opportunity to be reunited with her little Yorkie. The shelter told her that a woman noticed him wandering in a Nashville neighborhood all alone. She picked him up and took him to the shelter where staff scanned his microchip. They retrieved information that helped them contact Karen Fox to inform her that they had her dog in their shelter. This was nothing short of a miracle after more than a decade had passed. Connor is now an elderly dog, but he remembered Karen and licked her face. When she took him home, he seemed to still know his way around the house. Although Connor suffered from an eye infection, damaged teeth, and a sore leg, he is doing very well, safe and happy at home with his family. They are happy to take care of him in his golden years.
Why microchipping is a good idea for everyone
If Connor had not been microchipped before he was dognapped, the animal rescue shelter would have had no way of knowing who his owner was or how to get ahold of her. This tiny chip contained all of the necessary information to reunite the stolen pooch with his rightful owners. This story had a happy ending. Many pets that are turned into animal shelters cannot be identified and their owners are left to wonder whatever happened to them. Microchipping gives animal shelters all the information needed to let the owners know where their pet is at, and how to get them back home. Many dogs that are dropped off at shelters are either adopted out to new owners, legally or euthanized if they’re unfortunate enough to end up in a kill shelter. This behooves every one of us who are pet owners to have our dogs and cats microchipped.
How to keep your dog safe from dognapping
According to Vet Help Direct, the current pandemic has also brought with it a rash of pet thefts. These crimes have been on the rise since 2020 due to the new demand for dogs because of the quarantines and lockdowns. Dog owners are finding out that it takes more than microchipping to keep their pets safe from these villainous thieves.
- Identify your pet – Microchipping is the first step. Sometimes dognappers sell the animals to people who do have a conscience. If the chip is read by a veterinarian, they may call to offer to return the dog to you. If your dog escapes and is picked up as a stray, as in the case of Connor, you may get him back home after all. The United Kingdom has mandated chipping for all dogs for purposes of identification.
- Set up security – Most dog thefts happen while owners are at home with their pets. Brazen thieves pull up in the driveway, jump out of their vehicles, grab the dogs and take off with them. Set up a security system in your home with cameras that record wide angles to get the license numbers, and videos of the thieves and their vehicles to turn over to the police. The best way to avoid this happening is to never leave your pet unattended in the yard. Keep your doors and windows locked when you must leave the house with your pet home alone. Pick up all evidence of a dog from your yard and do not display any signs that say “beware of dog.” This alerts thieves that there is a dog there alone. Try to avoid leaving your pet home alone unless it’s necessary.
- Take precautions when you’re walking your dog – Terrifying videos of dog owners being held at gunpoint by dog thieves tell us that you’re not even safe when walking your dog down the street. Take extra precautions when you’re walking your dog. Keep a canister of mace in your pocket and your phone ready to call 9-1-1 for emergency help. It’s best to walk your dog in areas that offer places you can run to escape with him, and where there are plenty of neighbors out and about. Thieves try to avoid populated neighborhoods where witnesses can identify them and call the police.
Animal thefts are happening more than ever so pet parents must stay on their guard. Take all of the necessary precautions to keep your pup safe from thieves, especially if he is a valuable breed. Make your home safe from intruders and equip yourself with security measures that will cause dognappers to leave in frustration. Never leave your pet unattended unless necessary. These are the best ways to keep your pet safe from dognappers.