Thieves May Be Targeting Dogs

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A warning for pet owners--- thieves may be targeting your dog because of its value.

A few dogs were taken from their yards last weekend in Jackson and Hillsdale counties. Local vets believe they were stolen because of their breed and are urging pet owners to pay close attention to where their animals are.

The Northwest Veterinary Clinic on Clinton Road posted a warning about this on its Facebook page Monday. A man told them he saw a dark-colored, mid-sized car stop in front of his house on Springport Road near Wellman and take his Yorkie right from his yard on Sunday. That dog has since been found and returned, but the vet believes there is still something going on in that area.

Another post on Facebook from a woman in Hillsdale County says her two dogs, an Australian Shepard and white Boxer, were taken from her yard in North Adams Sunday night. The woman says a truck pulled up and stopped in front of her house and then drove off. She thought it was company or a paper delivery truck, but now her dogs are nowhere to be found.

According to the American Kennel Club, there were 71 dog thefts nationally in 2008, the first year the organization started tracking stolen dogs. That number jumped to 458 in 2012. The top five stolen breeds are Yorkshire Terrier, Chihuahua, Pomeranian, Labrador Retriever and French Bulldog.

Even if your dog is behind a fence, don't leave them alone for too long. Dogs left outdoors for long periods of time are targets, especially if your fenced-in yard is visible from the street.

Other tips to prevent dog theft include:
>Don't let your dog off-leash--- keeping it close to you will reduce the likelihood it will wander off and catch the attention of thieves.

>Be cautious with information. If a stranger approaches you to admire your dog, don't tell them how much the dog cost or give details about where you live.

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