From parking lots to pet stores and even backyards, The American Kennel Club reports that there were more than 590 thefts of pets in 2013. That’s a 31% increase over 2012. How to deter more thefts? In New York, Governor Cuomo just signed legislation this week to raise the pet theft penalty to $1,000 from $200. The penalty can be applied against anyone who removes a collar, entices, seizes or harasses a pet for the purpose of killing or selling it. This is the first time since 1970 that the penalty has been increased. If a pet thief can’t pay, he/she can face six months in prison.
The AKC strongly recommends “microchipping” your pet with the AKC Reunite. Vets are injecting the microchip (about the size of a grain of rice) between the shoulder blades of cats and dogs across the nation. If your dog is ever lost or stolen, a microchip could make the difference in getting him or her back.