In addition to the obvious — keeping pets on a leash and never leaving them unattended in backyards or cars — your best defense against dognapping is to:
Get under-skin security. Pilfered pooches with microchips are considered by the legal system as stolen property, making a stronger case for criminal charges.
Post fliers and ads, without rewards. Include a recent photo and the “last seen” location. Do not offer a reward because that’s an incentive for criminals, according to Lisa Peterson of the American Kennel Club.
Call police. Even if you suspect a pet is lost and not stolen, file a report with an animal control officer. If someone subsequently says your pet has been found and requests a reward, a report will put you on stronger ground if you decide to take legal action.
Don’t brag. If strangers approach to admire your dog during walks, don’t answer questions about how much the dog cost or give details about where you live.
An animal rights group announced Thursday it will offer a reward up to $1,000 for the safe return of Jaggar, an English bulldog that’s missing from his owner’s home in Woodland in a reported extortion scheme. Jaggar’s owner, Jennifer Thomas, said he disappeared about two weeks ago and that she’s received text messages threatening to harm him if she doesn’t pay a ransom. She uses a wheelchair.
The animal rights group PETA is offering the reward.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office at 360-577-3092.