In this pandemic, as other crimes have surged, dog thefts have also escalated. Lisa Peterson, the American Kennel Club spokesperson, adds that the dognappings may not be as high as burglaries or any other kind of property-related thefts, but it is increasing. It has now become a common crime for thieves to grab an unattended puppy playing in the yard or any other place, especially vulnerable are expensive breeds.
As per the American Kennel Club reports, almost 2 million dogs are stolen from their owners every year. This issue was highlighted when Lady Gaga’s French bulldogs Koji and Gustav were stolen by unknown thefts recently in February of this year. Usually, these kinds of incidents are not violent because thieves just come and take the puppy with them, but in Lady Gaga’s case, the whole scenario turned bloody. The thieves shot the dog walker Ryan Fisher in the chest because he was determined not to hand over the dogs easily.
So far, five suspects have been arrested related to Lady Gaga’s dog theft case as per the Los Angeles Police Department reports. The increase in dognappings can be understood as a consequence of pandemic and stay-at-home orders. People have turned more towards finding a companion in the form of cute, fluffy little puppies, which has led to increased demand for such puppies in the market.
The dog-owners and investigators usually do not report the crime of dognappings because it is generally considered a lost-dog case. According to the data collected by Crosstown (a nonprofit news organization) linked to the USC Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism, the cases of dog theft remained stable during the last years because most of the cases remain underreported.
Small dog breeds such as poodles are mostly the targets of thieves because one can handle and grab them easily. On the other hand, expensive dog breeds such as French bulldogs are stolen because they are of high value and very difficult to breed; they require C-section to be born. The increased demand for such puppies pushes the robbers to steal them from the yards, cars, and stores and inside the homes.
One of the famous pet detectives, Karen TarQwyn, said that French bulldogs are greatly desired worldwide because of the dog’s personality. This breed is extremely friendly, and if you tie them outside any store, then do not expect this bulldog to be at the same place when you come back. You can now find your pooch only by searching on Craigslist or posting a high reward on the dog.
According to the findings of the Los Angeles Police Department, all the stolen dogs are not used for selling purposes, but some unfortunate pups land in dogfighting rings. It is a common practice for large dog breeds. But in the case of smaller pups, they are generally thrown into the ring as baits for bigger dogs. The owner makes a lot of money out of these dog fights, but this needs to stop because it is very cruel for the animal.
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