It only took a moment for thieves to lure Keymo, a purebred husky, from his front yard in Jacksonville, Florida. His owner had let Keymo off-leash to do his business while she got ready for bed. When she returned, Keymo was gone and there was food on the sidewalk indicating he was lured away. Despite every effort, such as speaking to television stations and offering large rewards, Keymo was never returned.
Unfortunately, a growing number of dog owners are coming to realize that their purebred pups are targets for thieves. Their pedigree is valuable because they can be sold for more money, or they’re being delivered to puppy mills for exhaustive breeding.
The following is a list of the dogs that are in the most danger of being taken; however, it’s important to note that all dog thieves are discerning. Two million dogs are stolen each year in the United States alone and not all of them are purebred. Check the infographic at the bottom of this post to learn how you can protect your dog from theft.
1. Yorkshire Terriers
Yorkshire terriers, or Yorkies, are commonly stolen because they’re adorable, valuable, and tiny. Their small size makes them easy to pick up and run away with. Yorkies are typically harmless and won’t put up too much of a fight, which is ideal for dog thieves looking for an easy target.
2. Labrador Retrievers
Labs are the most popular dog breed in the United States. Because there are so many labs, they are statistically more commonly stolen. You’d think a lab wouldn’t be so popular with thieves due to their size and loyalty; unfortunately, it’s these exact characteristics that make them popular with dog thieves. Despite their larger size, labs are typically obedient and respond to commands, which make them easy targets for thieves.
Pomeranians are totes adorbs, and that’s why they’re so widely adored. Thieves know they can score as much as $3,000 for a purebred Pomeranian, and will scout neighborhoods and backyard looking for the fluffy pom-pom lookalike.
Small breeds are both expensive and easy to catch. This is fodder for dog thieves, who want an easy score. Maltese are yet another small dog breed that can be quickly nabbed (because they’re so sweet they’re unlikely to put up a fight) and net the thief anywhere from $1,200 to $2,500.
5. German Shepherds
You’d think a thief wouldn’t be stupid enough to mess with a German shepherd, considering they’re considered the best attack dogs. Unfortunately, dog thieves have learned how to navigate a German shepherd’s defensive skills and kidnap him. The life of a stolen German shepherd isn’t cushy, such as the life of a toy or small breed dog who is resold to unsuspecting new owners; no, German shepherds are often used in fighting rings and made to fight other dogs to the death.
6. Pit Bulls
Pit bulls may face the same fate as German shepherds. These dogs aren’t typically targeted for their resale value, but rather for their value in dog-fighting rings. In some cases the dogs are stolen for breeding, but this is not a happier fate as conditions are often poor and neglectful.
Bulldogs, especially French bulldogs, are quite popular amongst dog thieves. They can be resold for as much as $4,000, and they’re small enough to grab and go. Everyone loves a bulldog’s cute and squishy face, and dog thieves are willing to take advantage of this adoration to make a quick profit.
If you travel with your Chihuahua, as many Chihuahua owners do in purses or mini-crates, it’s important to keep an eye on him at all times. Thieves are looking to snatch your bag with your cute friend inside because they know it’s easy to flip Chihuahuas. Although not as profitable as some other breeds (Chihuahuas typically net the thief less than $400), Chihuahuas are easy to steal and therefore stolen quite often.
Purebreds aren’t the only highly targetable dog breeds out there. The sweetly gingered coated labradoodle is also a popular dog breed amongst thieves. Their coats are hypoallergenic, and they’re so adorable and sweet everyone loves them. They net thieves approximately $2,000 on the open market.
10. Boston Terriers
Boston terriers are adored for their spunky personalities and cute puppy-dog faces. They’re a common target for dog thieves because they can be sold for as much as $2,000.
Don’t let thieves steal your precious pup. Keep in mind that all dogs are at risk because thieves are looking for easy targets, and they will target mixed-breeds too. The below infographic has a lot of information about how you can protect your dog from dog thieves.