Believe it or not, the way the economy has been, people are resorting to stealing the pets of   others and selling them for cash.  Pets are being stolen from backyards, cars and even pet stores at an alarming rate, according to the American Kennel Club.

According to the AKC, the thefts range from tiny puppies being stuffed into purses at pet stores to, most recently, purebred pets being snatched from cars in parking lots and shelters. Even the thought of placing your pet in an outdoor fenced in backyard may not be a good idea unless you supervise the area.

The best advice to prevent your “best friend” from being a target of a crime is to not let your dog off of its leash, or unattended in your yard. Be aware of home visits by potential puppy buyers who may return to burglarize your home later to steal the puppies. Never leave your dog unattended in a car even if it is locked. A common practice among city dwellers is to tie their dog to a post while they go inside to buy something in a store. This is also not a good idea for obvious reasons.

It is for these reasons above that pet owners need to permanently microchip their pets for identification purposes.  Additional tips on how to protect your dog from theft can be found on the AKC Website.