Make sure your neighbors are aware, of the problem of pet theft. Let your neighbors know if you are expecting people on your property if you are not around, so they know to call the police if someone unexpected shows up. Keep recent photos of your dog and cat taken from different angles that clearly show coat type and coloring, close-ups of the face and any exceptional physical characteristics. Keep all your proof-of-ownership papers (adoption, breeding contract, bill of sale) in one place to prove ownership. If the unthinkable happens, don’t panic. Call the police if you believe your pet has been stolen, then begin your own search. Search the area, talk to neighbors and passersby. Walk or drive slowly through the area several times daily. Hand out copies of recent photographs. You should also post notices with pictures throughout the neighborhood, in newspapers and with radio stations. The Internet has become a more widely used tool to track down lost pets in recent years. There are a number of free sites on which people post images and exchange information.
Distraction toys such as a Kong can provide additional hours of fun if you stuff it with Ultramix sweet potato or pumpkin puree and freeze the toy until the puree is solid. Be sure to give the stuffed Kong to your dog outside or somewhere where you won’t mind cleaning up the mess – if he doesn’t lick up everything for you! Peanut butter is another great option. Courtesy Kong