Dogs can be a hot commodity, and with more dog nappers hoping to make a quick dollar, owners need to take precautions.
One of the biggest steps you can take to help protect man's best friend is having it micro-chipped with a tracking device. While this can sometimes help a napper locate where a dog may be, it can also help you locate your dog if it is lost or stolen. Charity Stevens, a rescue coordinator with the animal shelter in Muskingum County, said everyone should have their dog micro-chipped as there are far more pros than cons.
"As many protections as you can take to keep your dogs and cats safe, the better off we all are so they don't end up at shelters or stolen and sold to the wrong people for the wrong things," Stevens said.
The micro-chip is about the size of a grain of rice. Stevens said if your pet is lost or stolen, you can call the micro-chip company, and they will send out a lost poster and notice to area veterinarians and shelters to be on the lookout for your animal. Even if your pet is chipped, there are still other precautions owners should take.
"Just remember to keep a lighted area," Stevens said. "Don't let them out where it's really dark and you really can't see any area of the yard. Make sure it's lit properly, and just keep an eye out. If you hear some commotion, make sure you don't just assume it's a raccoon or another dog or cat in your yard. Go out and make sure."
To get your pet micro-chipped, you can make an appointment with the shelter. The cost is $20 for the chip and $15 for the office call.