Sorry, cannot display the section at this time.

Spokesdog's Canine Couch

A journey about dogs and their people by Diane Rich

  • Comments


January 18th, 2013 at Fri, 18th, 2013 at 1:51 pm by Diane Rich

Is Your Dog at Risk?

It is the unthinkable that someone would actually steal your pet and gut wrenching  if they accomplish their crime.  Anyone who would steal an animal does not have good intentions.

c Diane Rich 2013
Washington coast

Will share a story of what happened to me a long time ago at the Washington coast. My red Doberman, Fraser was about 10 months old when this incident occurred. He had been a beach dog since the ripe old age of 4 months and enjoyed our monthly escapes to the coast.   Fraser was introduced to horses at an early age and stayed within about 30-40 yards of the horses during our beach rides.

On this particular day, my boyfriend at that time and I were riding and enjoying  our beautiful coastline.  We turned to do a visual check on Fraser and saw a man grab Fraser by the collar, pick him up and start to put him in their truck.  We yelled at the guy that is it our dog and the guy quickened his pace to get my dog into his truck which he did and started to drive away. Due to the number of people and other cars on the beach this dognapper had a challenge with his getaway plans trying to maneuver his truck around people.  Cars are allowed on this stretch of beach.

c Diane Rich 2013

My cowboy, a vigilante type of man turned his large horse around and in a matter of seconds only needed a few strides to get to his destination and planted his horse directly in front of that truck.  Picture Dirty Harry on horseback. There was a woman and young boy in the truck also.    My horse and I arrived a few seconds after but my help wasn’t needed.  My boyfriend dismounted and in a flash the driver was shall we say escorted out of the truck,  I got my dog back, he was ok,  the guy got back in his truck and sped off.

The AKC reported that in 2012 there was a 70% rise in dog thefts.  No city is off limits to theft these days.

There was a story recently that someone had stolen a dog tied up in front of a store and the thief was found a few blocks away trying to sell this precious family dog for $250.  Someone who inquired about the dog for sale  thought it was suspicious and called the police. The dog was returned to the owner and the thief was caught.

There was another news story with security footage from a homeowner and dog owner who shared her story about dog theft. A dognapper, after being caught stating the dog is being mistreated and felt  justified her actions of going onto a yard to steal the family Husky was warrented. The dog was wearing a collar with a transmitter for the underground fencing which of course gave the dog a shock as it was pulled off the property into the woman’s SUV.

There was another story out of Bellevue WA, in the Bellevue Square shopping center’s underground parking area that someone smashed a car window and stole a Bulldog puppy.  This type of theft is becoming more common. Smash a car window, steal a dog and in a few minutes the dog is gone.

cDiane Rich 2013

c Diane Rich 2013

Bad guys have stolen dogs chained up in yards or taken dogs from behind a fence.  They just lure the dog out of the yard into a waiting vehicle.  Small dogs of course are an easier target but larger, friendly dogs are also at risk.
c Diane Rich 2013

I have never been a fan of invisible fence systems that include the front yard. Easy access along with other potential issues.  But even if the invisible fencing is set up only for the back yard still easy access for someone to come onto the property and grab a friendly dog.

I encourage my clients to never, ever even for a minute tie a dog up and run in for a coffee or an errand. It takes 10 seconds to untie the leash and take off with that dog.

c Diane Rich       Thanks, Sam for being the model for this photo

Bad guys may take the dog and post on Craig’s list to sell the dog, or try to sell the dog on the street. If the dog has an ID tag with a phone number the thief may now use the dog for ransom money.  Some thieves sell the dog to a laboratory for animal testing although this is not done like it was 20 years ago due to regulations.  The stolen pet can be used as dog bait for fighting dogs. Or if still intact, used for breeding.

Sometimes a dog is stolen by a jilted lover as revenge, or stolen and possibly killed or just dumped somewhere by a disgruntled neighbor annoyed by nuisance barking.

None of it is good for the poor dog. Microchips and ID tags are great for the Good Samaritan, but are useless for the evil mind.

Should you have a neighborhood watch, it may be a good idea to include information about the family pet with information how to notify you immediately and possibly the police  if an unfamiliar vehicle or strangers are scoping out your real estate.  It may not be your big screen they are after.

Safe Woofs,
Diane Rich Dog Training, LLC

I have been training dogs and their people for over 25 years. I work with pups from 7 weeks old to senior plus dogs and offer basic obedience to advanced off leash training both privately and group classes. Other services include behavior consultations to help both ends of the leash with everything from aggression, puppy/dog manners and public manners to separation anxiety. As a "real world" dog trainer, I take training out of the classroom or home when both the pet and family are ready, and take training to the street. I also offer pet therapy training classes preparing both the handler and dog for their therapy test and future service as a therapy team. I also coordinate several pet therapy programs in the Seattle area. My complete bio, description of services, class dates and on line class registration is listed on my website at

More articles by  >
ABOUT COMMUNITY BLOGS: Community blogs are written by volunteers. They are members of our community but not employees of this site or newspaper. They have applied or were invited to blog here but their words are their own and are not edited by the editor or staff of this site, and have agreed to abide by our Terms of Use. The authors are solely responsible for their content. If you have concerns about something you read on a community blog, please contact the author directly or email us.

COMMENTING RULES: We encourage an open exchange of ideas in the community, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. In a nutshell, don't say anything you wouldn't want your mother to read.

So keep your comments:

  • Civil
  • Smart
  • On-topic
  • Free of profanity

We ask that all participants own their words by logging in with their Facebook account. It's a simple process that will take seconds and helps keep our comments free of trolls, cranks, and “drive-by” commenters. We reserve the right to remove comments from anyone using screen names, pseudonyms or false identities. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.