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Question
Posted by: sam | 2004/11/27

query about stolen animals.

hey, my dog was recently stolen and i am terribly upset about it...he was like my child! He was stolen from our garden!! I can't sleep at night, wondering where he is, I'm so worried he is being tortured or beaten or worse been sold for muti! So many dreadful things could be happening to him....I'm going crazy and I can't think about anything. I went to the SPCA but to no avail and even offered a reward...I feel so helpless whilst he is so helpless at the hands of a dog killer.

So why do people steal animals? for what reasons? As you are a vet, I thought you would have seen your fair share of patients who have also lost their dogs in similiar circumstance.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberVet

Hi Sam
I am not a vet, but an animal behaviourist. However I do hear from a fair number of distressed pet owners whose pets have gone missing. You don't say what breed your dog is, but it is most likely that he will be used for fighting if he is of a fighting breed. Other breeds of animals are occasionally stolen for breeding purposes or for re-sale (pure bred and rare breeds). However sometimes the animals are not stolen, but have escaped somehow and have been found by someone. Keep going to the SPCA and any other rescue organisations every couple of days to check. Sometimes the staff there are too busy or not knowledgeable about breeds to give correct information on the phone. Make some notices, preferably with a photo of your dog, and put them up at vets in your area and even on noticeboards wherever you can. Be positive and good luck!
Karen Gray-Kilfoil
ANIMAL BEHAVIOURIST

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

2
Our users say:
Posted by: sam | 2004/12/01

what I don't understand is that my dog was old, he wasn't a small little puppy so the chances of someone wanting to buy him would be very miniscule, so then why would they still want to steal him? He was a small dog so I don't he could have been used for dog fighting. I spoke to the police and they reckon that there has been a gang operating in the area for the past six months who specialise in the act of stealing people's pets. If they did infact take him to make a quick buck, then what would have happened if they weren't able to sell him? Such thoughts sicken me to my stomach.

Sadly to say, I have given up hope...

Reply to sam
Posted by: Chill | 2004/11/27

I'm sure you are very upset at the theft of your dog - I've been there too, and it's something that never lets you go.

The main reason people steal dogs, in my opinion, is to make a quick buck - ie to resell the dog as fast as possible. So, it's worth making a bunch of posters to put up on community noticeboards etc, so that a buyer (if they're honest) or perhaps a buyer's neighbours can alert you if they think they know where your dog is.

However: you could end up in a situation where there's a dispute about the real owner of the dog, and this is one of the big reasons it's a really good idea to microchip every dog, because then there can be no argument.

The worst thing, I believe, happens with large, predominantly male dogs, and that is that they are used for dogfighting. Breeds particularly popular for this are Dobies, German Shepherds, Pit Bulls and Bull Terriers. Make no mistake, dog fighting is alive and well, and quite a bit of money can change hands at such events. It's also dangerous to get too close to such outfits - as you can imagine, they don't have many scruples about making you keep quiet - I was warned about this at the time.

There are several websites that allow you to advertise lost dogs - pawtal is one of them, and you'll also find such sites if you look under the Pets section of Ananzi - both of these are of course preceded by www and followed by the usual co and za (sorry, this site won't let you post the proper url).

You don't say where you are, but if you're in a city or big place, then it's worth contacting all the animal welfares, not only the SPCA, and it's also worth distributing photos of your dog. Finally, you are allowed to offer a reward to the police too - contact the police public liaison officer in the city or town where you are - they can assist by putting up posters/notices in police stations as well as informing their patrol officers of the reward. I did that, and got more response to this than all my other efforts put together. (I never did find my dog, unfortunately, but I did end up adopting one of the ones I was alerted to, six months later - he couldn't replace my dog but was nevertheless a truly wonderful dog.)

Good luck. Lots of us know how you feel... in fact, if you'd like to give some details on this forum I have no doubt people will help you by looking out for your dog.

Reply to Chill

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