It’s heartbreaking enough to lose a dog, but it’s even more heartbreaking to suspect that your dog was stolen. There are so many desperate questions—why would anyone do something like this? Is Fluffy being looked after? How can I reclaim her? If you believe your dog has been stolen, you must act quickly to try to locate her. Here are some methods for recovering a stolen dog, as well as some preventative measures you can take:

1. Call the cops right away and request a report. This will create a record of the theft and make it easier to locate your dog if you happen to see or hear of her whereabouts.

2. Give the details of the alleged theft to the Home Again lost dog recovery service. People in your area will be made aware of the loss and may be able to provide information about your dog’s whereabouts.

3. Call all of the animal shelters, veterinary offices, and grooming salons in your area. The thief may reconsider keeping the animal and may even take her to a veterinarian’s office or grooming salon to abandon her.

dog shelters

4. Create lost dog flyers and post them on social media and also offer a reward for any information leading to your dog’s recovery, but don’t say you think she was stolen. The person who stole her may want to return her, but he or she is unlikely to do so if they face prosecution. Also, if someone simply finds your dog, you may refuse to turn her in because you believe the rescuer is the thief. Use the phrase “no questions asked” only once. Finally, do not specify the monetary value of the reward.

lost dog flyers

5. Inform your local newspapers about the theft by sending an email or a letter. Include a photo of your dog and any details that you believe a reporter might be interested in, especially genuine details that tug at the heartstrings, such as your dog being a therapy dog, the best friend of a handicapped child, or being rescued from a tragic situation.

If there have been other dog thefts in the area, there could be a dog crime wave in your town, which would be a great story for the paper.

6. If you see your dog with another person, you can approach and ask about the dog in a neutral manner if you feel safe. If not, call the cops right away and have your case number handy.

lost dog new owner

Try to keep a safe distance between you and the person. If you see the dog in someone else’s yard, call the cops right away. Do not attempt to retrieve the dog yourself; this can be extremely dangerous, and you do not want to be arrested for trespassing. Use your best judgment and don’t put yourself in a situation you can’t handle.

7. If you get a call from someone in another state or town asking for money to ship your dog back, it’s most likely a scam. Predators frequently use classified ads or flyers to target vulnerable dog owners.