BUFFALO, NY - Buffalo Police are on the hunt for a dog-napper, at a time when pet theft is more common than you might think, with expensive breeds increasingly at risk.
According to the Buffalo Police Facebook page, lawmen are seeking the public's help in solving a case involving a purloined puppy.
The incident was reported last Thursday, when a woman living on the 300 block of Dewey Avenue claimed that between 12:55 and 1:03 p.m., an unknown person or persons took her dog from her yard, and that they were possibly driving a silver colored car.
The dog is described as a 5-month-old, male, lilac tri color American Bully puppy, named Stone
According to Buffalo Police Spokesperson Michael DeGeorge, it appears the dog was indeed stolen, and that police were involved because of evidence that the pet did not just wander off and become lost.
DeGeorge added that because the BPD Facebook page gets a lot of traffic, the information was posted there in the hopes of generating some leads.
Meanwhile, the administrator of a Facebook page dedicated to the recovery of lost pets in Western New York says, unfortunately, pet theft happens more often than you might think.
“It’s becoming more and more of a problem recently," said Sherry Schalk, who founded the Pet Alert of WNY page after her own pet was lost.
The page currently has 25,000 followers.
“It’s getting scary, because there are people out there trying to make a quick buck…so reports of stolen pets are becoming more and more prevalent on our page.”
Purebred American Bully pups can be found on line for purchase for anywhere between $2,000 and $5,000, thus, if someone did steal the dog, they could be charged with felony Grand Larceny if caught.
In addition, state lawmakers increased fines for stealing pets from $200, to $1,000 in New York back in 2014.
Schalk believes that if someone is willing to invest several thousand dollars to purchase a dog, they would be wise to spend an additional $50 to have their pet implanted with a microchip.
Pet microchips are not tracking devices and do not work like global positioning devices. However, they do provide a permanent ID for your pet, which can prove they belong to you through a scanning device if they are recovered after being lost or stolen.
Buffalo police say if you know who took the dog in question from the home on Dewey Ave. last Thursday, call their confidential tip line at 847-2255.