Every pet owner needs to be informed on this subject. You can also take action to do something about it. See below.
NBC's "Dateline" and other TV programs have carried stories about the pet theft problem. According to In Defense of Animals (IDS), an organization which works to defend animals and supports protective legislation, "Each year, as many as two million family pets are stolen, to be sold into a life of misery and pain in research labs, puppy mills, dog-fighting, or satanic cults."
This is a business and companies which sell the animals for research are licensed by the government to handle animals. They may employ people who provide them with animals, and they don't care how they got them. Many of the animals they sell were either strays (with or without tags), or were stolen from the owner's property. Friendly and gentle animals are sought because they are easier to handle.
It is against the law for a research facility to buy an animal that is someone's pet. They are supposed to check all animals for identification such as tags, tattoos, and embedded ID chips. They don't always do this. Still, a chip may protect your pet if it is picked up and sold to a research lab.
In Defense of Animals is fighting the multi-million dollar pet theft syndicate. You may see its public service announcements on TV by actress Rue McLanahan on this issue.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP: If you can make a contribution to this project, it will be welcome. If not, you can tell others about it or hand out the free brochures. You can ask your local TV stations to run IDS's Pet Protection Public Service Announcement, or write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper.
Contact In Defense of Animals at: 816 W. Francisco Blvd., San Rafael, CA 94901. Telephone: 415-453-9984. Free brochures are available.NOTE: this home page is not in any way affiliated with In Defense of Animals; the above is provided for your information only.