A Vancouver animal rescue group is issuing a warning about what it’s calling a spike in dog thefts in the area.
The Thank Dog I Am Out Dog Rescue Society has released a PSA warning owners not to leave their pets unattended, warning of “escalating” thefts in the region.
“Over the last 12 months, we have been thrown into the role of search and rescue,” society founder Susan Patterson said in the video.
“What we do know is that these dogs are either being sold for cash, they are being kept for companionship or they are being shipped out of province and sold as rescue dogs.”
The Vancouver Police Department says it hasn’t documented a spike in dognappings.
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But Patterson says her organization is seeing dogs vanish daily.
She pointed to two recent incidents as examples: one where a chihuahua was stolen while its owner was in the bathroom and one where a Coton de Tulear was stolen from a car in Mount Pleasant.
Both dogs turned up on the Downtown Eastside.
“It’s terrible. I’ve been in rescue for 10 years. I have never seen anything like it. We are hearing from people who say their dog was just snatched,” she said.
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“Dogs are disappearing from coffee shops, from food stores and from backyards that have unsecured locking systems.”
Patterson said the best thing dog owners can do is to make sure their dogs are never out of sight and to stay vigilant at all times.