GALLIPOLIS — The Gallia County dog warden warns county residents to be wary of people looking to take pets from yards.
“The most common (theft) is a small breed dog and the pedigree dogs. I had a Yorkie come up missing from Cherry Ridge. It ended up in Franklin County,” said Gallia County dog warden Laurie Cardillo. “The (Franklin County) dog warden saw it walking down the sidewalk and stopped and picked it up. It was microchipped and came back to a (woman) on Cherry Ridge and we think it was stolen right out of her yard.”
Cardillo suggested that individuals keep close watch over their animals when they are tied up in the yard or at home. A pure-bred or pedigree animal are what prospective criminals may see as a way to “quick money.”
“If your dog is friendly and if your dog will go to just anybody, you’ve got to keep a close eye on them,” Cardillo said.
Cardillo said she gets a dog theft complaint “at least once a week.” Sometimes she said she has multiple reports a week. She noted German shepherds seem to be a common breed that “comes up missing” as well.
When asked about dogs without collars or tags and individuals picking them up unknowingly, Cardillo cautioned about the status of the dog’s ownership.
“Just because a dog doesn’t have a collar or tag, doesn’t mean it doesn’t have an owner,” Cardillo said. “We’ve had dogs come up missing off the chain. There were people that just walked up in the yard and pulled it off.
“The public sometimes will offer a lot of help. If they see somebody with a dog and they know that person shouldn’t have that dog, they’ll contact me and usually tell me where they think the dog came from,” she said.
The dog warden said that if she acquires an animal that does not have a microchip or tags, she is able to keep the dog for three days before adopting it out. If a dog comes in with a tag, the shelter is required to hold it a minimum of 14 days.
Cardillo suggested individuals take photos to help in search efforts to recover lost animals, especially if an owner suspects a theft to have occurred.
The Gallia County Sheriff’s Office and Gallipolis Police Department told the Tribune if a citizen suspects their animal was stolen, to file a report with law enforcement and law enforcement officials would proceed to investigate the case as they would any other theft.
Cardillo recommends owners attempt to have microchip ID’s placed in their animals to help prevent the grey area discussions that can accompany discovered animals and their ownership status.
Microchip ID’s can cost around $50 on a veterinary visit. They are normally injected between an animal’s shoulder blades. Various institutions offer special incentives or lower pricing for microchip ID’s at times, depending on season and circumstance.
Dean Wright can be reached at (740) 446-2342, Ext. 2103.