Protect Your Pet From Thieves



It is feared there may be a pet thief ring operating in Payson. A number of dogs have gone missing and, in one case, the occupants of a white, suburban-like vehicle were observed by a neighbor luring the dog into the car.

In big cities, pet thieves drive slowly through neighborhoods, looking for an opportune moment when they can snatch a high-value dog to sell to animal dealers or research facilities. In some cases, that profit is used for drug-related activities.

The best protection pet owners have against pet theft is to restrain their pets from leaving their property by keeping them inside or by putting them outside in a fenced yard only for limited time periods, preferably with supervision. Neutering and spaying pets helps keep them from roaming far from home. Leaving a dog tied outside a store or in the back of a pickup truck while you go shopping is a perfect invitation to thieves.

Another important way to safeguard pets from theft is to tattoo, microchip and tag them. Some people tattoo their social security number on their pet's inner thigh. Keep a file on your pet with a clear, closeup color photo of the animal. Write down your pet's unique identifying marks, such as eye color, spots, scars, breed and size.

If your pet should go missing, start looking for it immediately. Search your neighborhood. Canvass the area with lost-pet pictures, signs and information. Ask your neighbors to be on the lookout for your missing pet. Advertise in local and surrounding town newspapers, on radio and TV, and contact nearby shelters in Payson and Globe, as well as police and animal control agencies. Browse Web sites like Petfinder. Don't give up. Keep trying to recover your pet.

In addition to dognappers, there are catnappers on the prowl in the Payson area. One self-righteous man has baited and trapped dozens of cats, many of them belonging to his neighbors, and has either brought them to Payson Humane Society or, worse, dumped them far away on national forest lands. This is his hobby. If only he could have seen the woman who reclaimed two of her missing cats from the shelter. When she saw her dear cats, she uttered the most mournful moan and almost dropped to her knees in relief.

Pets are most often abducted for the profit motive. Purebreds can be sold to animal dealers and may, with luck, end up in a good home. Mixed breed dogs can be sold to veterinary colleges and industrial research labs. Some are stolen for the sole purpose of abuse and others become bait for training dogs to fight. It is a cruel crime to steal people's beloved pets.

There is one type of pet theft that may, however, be justified. In acts of desperation, neighbors have been known to rescue abused and neglected dogs from their misery, finding themselves unable to tolerate watching a dog lie in its own feces, caged or chained, freezing, starving, matted, dirty, bleeding from embedded choke-chain wounds, and never shown love.

The easiest way for cold-hearted people to acquire animals is through "free to a good home" ads. Those offering free animals rarely screen adopters to see what kind of home the animal is going to. People who do not neuter their pets contribute to pet overpopulation and potentially to animal abuse. Pet profiteers and abusers do not get animals from humane societies. They do not want to lose any profit by paying an adoption fee, nor do they care if the animal has been vaccinated or neutered.

Please be watchful of your pets and consider adopting one from Payson Humane Society. We're located at 812 S. McLane Road; call 474-5590 or visit us on the Web at


Duchess is an intelligent 3-year-old spayed female Lab/Chow mix. You can see the Chow heritage in her blue tongue.

Duchess has good manners and walks politely on leash.

We have found her to be friendly with people at our shelter, but her previous family says she is not good with small children.

Chows are typically independent thinkers, much like cats. They are very quiet, naturally well behaved, not diggers or barkers and aren't destructive. They tend to save their affection for those they love dearly.

We feel Duchess may have some of these qualities, yet she also has some of the endearing traits of the Labrador Retriever.


Sydney is a pretty 2-year-old spayed female Smooth Collie/Lab mix.

She is a very sweet and gentle girl who was left by her owners at a local vet and never picked up.

Naturally, Sydney is very perplexed by her current situation and a little unsure of herself. But her good nature is coming around as staff and volunteers work with her.

She is a good girl on leash and has some basic training because she will sit on command.

Sydney is a very clean and well-mannered dog. She will make a lovely companion for a kind family.


Sugabear is a friendly 1-1/2-year-old spayed female Shepherd/Keeshond mix.

Her pretty, easy-care coat has a buff undercoat with black guard hairs. One ear is fashionably flopped over, while the other ear stands up. She wears her tail proudly curled over her back.

Sugabear is not a very big dog and she is a delight to handle.

She walks like a lady on leash and listens well.

She is a playful pup and will often bow or drop to the ground as an invitation to play with her. She likes playing with other dogs in our big exercise yard.

Sugabear is a smart pup that will take quickly to learning obedience and tricks. She's a honey of a dog!


Pretty Boy is a handsome 2-year-old neutered male German Shepherd mix.

When he first came to our shelter, he was very shy, but we have been working with him to help him overcome his apprehension. He will be much more comfortable in a stable home situation.

We feel he will be very loyal to those he loves and trusts.

Prospective adopters need to be willing to put in the time it takes to work with him on his issues.

He has been evaluated by a skilled dog trainer who assures us he has great potential to become a well trained, devoted companion dog.


Whisper is the dearest 3-year-old spayed female Hound.

She is a beautiful dog and though she is fairly good-sized, she handles as easily as a smaller dog. She stays right with you and minds exceptionally well.

Whisper loves nothing better than going afield to check out the scents on the ground. If only she could tell us all that she detects there!

Whisper is a very gentle, loving dog with a happy disposition. She will make a fine companion to a family that is willing to love her as much as she will love them back.

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