Preventing dog theft during the holiday - News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Preventing dog theft during the holiday

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Cases of dog theft occur through the year but can increase slightly during the holiday season.

The main reason dogs are stolen is to be resold. In the best case scenario, they then find homes with unbeknownst families. In the worst case, some of them end up in dog fighting rings.

The resale of stolen dogs is contributing to serious health problems with puppy populations.

Mary Louk, board president of Animal Charity, said that this has made the parvovirus especially bad this year.  She said they normally get a reprieve in the winter from the virus, but there has been no reprieve this year.

Shelters and rescues are good places to get dogs without the risk of poor medical background, as they keep dogs current with shots. If you do go to a breeder you can make sure they are reputable by asking a simple question:

"The most important question you can ask is; if something happens and I can't keep this puppy, will you take it back?" Louk said.  "Any breeder that really cares about their animals, and is really breeding for the love of the breed, will say absolutely, we will always take one of our puppies back."

When dogs are stolen, one of the biggest complications is proving who is the rightful owner. Louk said a microchip and a dog license are truly the only way to prove ownership of an animal.

It is also recommended not to leave your dog alone, or leave puppies tied up.

If you do have a litter, be careful when posting about them online. Never post personal information such as addresses or phone numbers on any public forum.

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