Dog Theft from Parks Increases Across Spain

Dog Theft from Parks Increases Across Spain

Last update: 29 June, 2018


A recent story in the news have left pet-lovers on edge: dog-theft, especially in parks, is taking place across Spain. Due to the fact there are similar evidence in every case, it is believed by work of organized groups. The missing pets are thought to be resold, used by breeders, or forced into dog-fights.

How are dogs stolen in parks?

Two happy dogs in a park

The National Police and numerous animal rights groups are warning pet owners to take extreme precautions when taking their four-legged friends out for a walk.

The authorities are currently investigating multiple cases. According to the testimony of human victims and witnesses, some dogs are snatched in front of their owners’ eyes. The offenders strike so fast that owners don’t have any chance to react before the dog is kidnapped.

In general, a thief picks up a dog and runs to a vehicle, where an accomplice is waiting. This is how they make a quick escape.

The rise in pet-theft cases, especially from parks, is making headlines across Spain. Learn what precautions you must take in order to make sure your dog isn’t next.

Reselling stolen dogs: a profitable crime

The market for reselling dogs seems to be growing in Spain. Stolen animal most likely end up in a street markets or sold online.

However, the less fortunate ones, will be destined to spending the rest of their lives with breeders. Even worse, they could end up in dog-fights. This means that they become cannon fodder for cruel human entertainment at the expense of the lives of innocent animals.

In these cases, if the animal is lucky it will only get badly injured. More commonly, dogs are forced into a death match.  The criminals are thought to work with the help of certain veterinarians that change — or simply remove — the dogs’ microchips so that they cannot be located.

How to prevent dog theft

As news piles up about pet robberies, the Spanish National Police recommend owners to immediately report any incident to the nearest police station. The police have also suggested certain precautionary measures, including:

  • Don’t leave your dog tied up outside of certain establishments while running errands or shopping
  • Always keep your dog on a leash. If it frequently gets loose, keep it close and don’t let it out of your sight. People are easily distracted by a conversation, a phone call, or any virtual distractions of modern technology and social media.
  • Never leave your pet unattended in a vehicleIn addition to the fact that they can be stolen easily, they also are in danger of dying from a heat stroke. In such cases, all fault would fall upon the pet owner.

Other measures to prevent dog theft

A dog left unattended in a park

The recommendations from the authorities don’t end there. They also suggest:

  • When leaving your animal in the care of a third party — walkers, pet-sitters, doggy sitters — make sure ahead of time that they are 100% trustworthy. The simplest way is to ask for a reference from family and friends. Another option is to look at on-line reviews from previous customers.
  • An important rule to keep in mind is to not leave dogs alone in gardens or terraces that are easily accessible from the outside. 
  • Don’t trust strangers who come up to your dog, no matter how friendly they appear to be. If there’s any doubt, it’s best to grip the leash tightly and be alert for any sudden movements they could use to snatch your pet.
  • In an ideal scenario, all dogs would have a microchip. Though it’s possible to change them, as mentioned before, if action is taken quickly enough your dog can be located easily with a microchip.

The contents of My Animals are written for informational purposes. They can't replace the diagnosis, advice, or treatment from a professional. In the case of any doubt, it's best to consult a trusted specialist.