"We are seeing a slight uptick in crime," said Brandi Hunter, vice president of public relations and communications for the American Kennel Club. "We don't want to be alarmist about it, but we are definitely seeing an uptick in crime and we're seeing an uptick in the use of violence."
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Which breeds of dogs are the most likely to be stolen?
Hunter says smaller breeds, such as the following, are typically easier for crooks to take off with simply because of their size.
- Shih Tzus
- Yorkshire Terriers
- French Bulldogs
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What can you do to protect your dog?
"Always microchip your dog and tag your dog," Hunter told ABC13.
She also adds that you should file a police report. The AKC said if a dog is stolen and taken to a veterinarian, the vet can scan the microchip and see in the database the dog was reported as stolen.
Also, don't leave your dog alone. It's best not to tie your dog up outside any business because someone can easily take off with it.
When it comes to taking your dogs on a walk, make sure you take your fur baby during the daylight. Many criminals will target unsuspecting victims in the early morning or late evening hours.
How do you know you're not buying a dog that's been stolen?
If you're thinking of getting a dog, it's always good to work with a reputable breeder or shelter. According to the AKC, breeders or shelters will run dogs through the database so you know you're getting a dog that will rightfully belong to you.