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Burglars Sometimes Do Steal Dogs, But Worse Things Can Happen

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November 13, 2013
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Burglars Sometimes Do Steal Dogs, But Worse Things Can Happen

We know from reading countless police reports on burglaries what intruders steal from your home: cash, jewelry, electronics, guns, and prescription drugs still top the list. The non-cash items can be turned into cash easily, which is what the thieves want – and the goal is often to feed a drug habit, which is driving increased home intrusions in many parts of the US. But a report I just read from Tempe, Arizona shows that there is one other thing that a burglar may take: your pet.

A Valley family is devastated after a home burglary, not because of the valuables that were taken but because the crooks stole the family dog. "I'm devastated," said Ana Wells, who got "Lucky" 10 years ago at the animal shelter. "She is a part of our family and we just want her home."

What Happened

A neighbor called police on Friday when the couple was at work. Their home had been broken into by two young men. The items stolen include watches, cameras and a laptop computer, plus, a safe in the back of the bedroom closet.  But the worst part is that they took off with Lucky. "You feel violated enough, but then they take the dog, it doesn't make any sense," said Brian Wells. The couple said Lucky wouldn't fetch much on the open market. But to them, she is a treasure.

This One Has a Happy Ending

I know personally just how important pets can be to a family. We moved to DC in 2006, and my wife insisted that we set up at least the fire monitoring portion of our alarm system immediately: as she quick to point out, our two dogs did not dial 911 very well, and we were both out of the house all day. I have also posted on pets and alarm systems, referencing fire monitoring and also pet-immune motion detectors, the kind that FrontPoint provides. Now here’s the happy ending to the Tempe story.

Thursday, Maricopa County Animal Care and Control reported to Tempe Police that the dog, "Lucky," had been turned into their facility. Lucky is doing just fine and was turned over to a family member. However, the rest of the stolen property has not been returned.

What To Do When Your Pet is Stolen

Pet owners are increasingly using a micro-chip embedded under the pet’s skin as a tracking device – the size of a large grain of rice - and these can be very useful. Here’s a link to information on this technology, and some background:

Microchips have been particularly useful in the return of lost pets. They can also assist where the ownership of an animal is in dispute. Animal shelters and animal control centers benefit using microchip identification products by more quickly and efficiently returning pets to their owners. Microchipping is becoming standard at shelters: many require all outplaced animals to receive a microchip, and provide the service as part of the adoption package. Animal-control officers are trained and equipped to scan animals. In addition to shelters and veterinarians, microchips are used by kennels, breeders, brokers, trainers, registries, rescue groups, human societies, clinics, farms, stables, animal clubs and associations, researchers, and pet stores.

A Much Sadder Pet Story

It’s often bad news when burglars and pets meet, but there are plenty of reports where the outcome is tragic for pet owners, as in this news story from Parker County, Texas.

The Parker County Crime Stoppers is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the person or people involved in a home burglary that left the family dog dead, and the sheriff says he'll add an additional $1,000 for information leading to the arrest of the dog's killer. It happened in the 300 block of Harmony Circle in Parker County on Tuesday.

Details on the Crime

Parker County Sheriff Larry Fowler says Tom Soap went to his mother's house and found the front door wide open. When he went inside he found his 11-year-old pit bull, Moline, dead in the living room with a gunshot wound to the head. "She was a family member," said Soap, who had Moline since she was 6-weeks-old. Several items were stolen from the home including a .22 rifle, a nail gun, 10 case knives, an impact drill and driver and a gym bag. Soap reports the thieves took a pillow case from one of the bedrooms and filled it with jewelry and other items but left it inside the garage of the home.

Police Respond

"The Sheriff’s Office takes home burglaries and crimes against animals seriously," Fowler said in a news release. "Moline’s death is an outrage." The additional $1,000 reward will be paid from the Parker County Sheriff's Animal Cruelty reward fund.

For pet owners, these stories are frightening to read. And of course, the best way to deter a burglar in the first place is with a monitored home alarm system. If the perps are not scared away by the loud siren, then the police will be dispatched and deal with them. More and more homes are choosing peace of mind with a home alarm, and that’s where FrontPoint can help. We’re the leader in wireless home security and the #1 ranked home alarm company in the US.

When you’re ready for a home alarm that’s safer, smarter, simpler, more affordable, and virtually impossible to defeat, you’re ready for FrontPoint: no hidden fees, the best interactive, wireless home alarm technology at the best price, and world-class service. And you can have the peace of mind from knowing that your pets are more secure, from fire or theft.

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