According to a recent article of USA Today, the number of dogs being stolen has risen dramatically in 2011.
Stealing dogs with the intention of demanding a ransom from the owner is not
a new phenomenon. In fact, the first ever dognapping case was recorded in 1934. The stolen Boston Terrier was returned to its
owner after 5 long months so the story had a happy ending.
Dogs become part of our families. They will be just like a small brother or
sister to the kids. And when they are kidnapped and there is a chance that
money can buy them back, we pay gladly – provided that we have the money
demanded, that is.
Over time, as conformation showing became more popular, show dogs became the
targets of thieves. It’s easy to see that if the owner of a regular dog is
willing to pay thousands of dollars in ransom, the owner of a valuable show dog
might pay tens of thousands of dollars to get his pooch back.
Dognapping – not only for ransom but reselling, experiments and a number of
other purposes – has become widespread in the United States by the 60’s. So
much so that it had actually become one of the most talked about issues of the
time. The public dismay and the floods of letters demanding something to be
done put enormous pressure on the senate. As a result, the “Dognapping Law”,
which became the Animal Welfare Act of 1966 was born.