These miserable individuals, or organised gangs are particularly active outside shopping centres where dogs are left tethered and unattended.
They steal the animal and then demand a reward for "finding it". Sometimes they demand a large ransome, or even worse, put them into illegal dog fights. Sometimes they sell them on, particularly if they are a rare breed.
They have also been known to drive around to find the type of dog they are looking for and when such a breed or loved family pet is spotted, they will subtly mark the property with a small spot of paint on the gutter, or tie a tiny piece of plastic somewhere such as a letterbox, tree or fence, to identfy the property and steal the pet(s) when the owners are not home or sleeping.
Be vigilant to check your home and your neighbours for any of these subtle signs.
By not identifying dog handlers, I hope to ensure no animal that appears here is ever subjected to such an unfortunate fate as a result of appearing in my blog.
Please contact the police if you find any of the signs that dog nappers may be active in your neighbourhood. It is up to us all to ensure the safety of our pets and bring an end to their despicable and highy illegal activities that are abhorrent to all of us who love our pets and are concerned about animal welfare.
Unfortunately Ballarat is an Australian hot spot for such activities.
Most individuals who genuinly find a lost pet are thrilled to see it reunited with its owner and seek no rumuneration for their trouble.
Microchipping is an excellent means of securely marking your animal, in case of any future identification disputes, as well as ensuring it is clearly identified as being resident at your address.
Always keep changes of address current with microchipping identification records. Contact your vet or the City of Ballarat for further information relating to microchipping.