According to the American Kennel Club, dognappers are on a rampage this year, making off with nearly a third more canines than they did at this point in 2010.
The Chicago Sun-Times relays the group’s stats, which say 224 dogs were stolen in the first seven months of 2011, in comparison to 150 through the same period last year and 255 for the whole year. The group received reports of only 162 dogs stolen in 2009.
Dognappers supposedly flip their victims for cash, selling them off to dogfighters, labs or regular pet owners. Pit bulls and large breeds are among the most stolen.
The California Biomedical Research Association advises tempering any dog theft hysteria, calling the concept of dognapping “The Pet Theft Myth.” Most dogs used in research, the firm says, are specifically bred for research.
If you’ve ever had a pet stolen, share your story in the comments.