Take precautions to prepare for pet theft problems

Pet owners should take certain precautions to make sure they can be reunited with their pets in the event they are lost or stolen, according to veterinarians from BluePearl Veterinary Partners.

Sadly, a new criminal trend called "pet flipping" is gaining in popularity, stated a BluePearl press release. People will steal or find someone else's pet and then sell the pet.

According to the American Kennel Club, there has been a 28% increase in the number of dog thefts between January and May of this year compared with last year.

Steps to take

Dr. Neil Shaw, chief medical officer of BluePearl Veterinary Partners, recommends these simple steps family members can take to prevent becoming a victim of "pet flipping."

— Talk with your family veterinarian about having your pet micro-chipped. Micro-chipping is a relatively inexpensive procedure that can easily reunite a lost pet with their family.

— See if your veterinarian recommends using advanced technology like a GPS tracking enabled collar.

— Never leave your pet unattended outside.

— Keep current photographs of your pet.

— Utilize your local veterinary community and sites like Craigslist to try to find your pet.

“If you feel you may be the victim of pet flipping, don't try to take action on your own," Shaw said

Instead, he said, call local law enforcement authorities and work with them to help get the pet back.

About BluePearl Vet Partners

BluePearl Veterinary Partners employs more than 1,350 people, including over 350 veterinarians.

BluePearl hospitals offer referral-only, specialty-care services and most offer 24-hour emergency care. It does not provide primary care.