Monday, September 21, 2009

Pet Napped!

My local newspaper (the actual hard copy kind) reported that there has been a rash of dog nappings in our region lately. In one instance, a dog was pulled from a child’s arms. In another, a dog was taken from a car whose windows were rolled down so the dog wouldn’t suffocate.

They were well-orchestrated nappings, a pet theft ring of some kind. The police recommendations were to never leave a pet in a car unattended or outside a store on a leash or in the yard on a leash, and to get a chip implanted under the dog’s skin so it could be tracked. If I had a dog, I’d do all of the above. Cat, too, if it was allowed out.

For one of my Flower Shop mysteries, I researched pet nappers, the kind who sell stolen animals to research labs, where the poor little pets have cosmetics like mascara and eye shadow, shampoo and hair spray, all sorts of products not only applied to shaved skin, but also rubbed into their eyes and forced into their stomachs. I can’t imagine how anyone could work in a such a place, but apparently it’s common. It’s also torture.

There are also pet nappers who resell the animals at roadside booths, which was what the police suspected was happening in my area. Please tell me you wouldn’t stop along the highway to buy a Teacup Chihuahua and think it was legit. But people actually do.

My heart was broken when a beloved cat got out and ran away. He never came back, so I always assumed he had been hit by a car. It didn’t stop me from calling for him every night and morning, walking the neighborhood for weeks, but now I’m wondering if he wasn’t napped, too.

Have you ever lost a pet? Had it stolen? How do you protect your animals?

Kate