Dog theft is up 32 percent compared to last year. The American Kennel Club has tracked pet thefts since 2007, and the prime time for dog thefts is during the summer months when pet owners combine dog-walking with errand-running.
According to the AKC, while in some cases animals are snatched from yards and even during home invasions, the most opportunistic thief will steal a dog tied up right outside a store. And your beloved four-legged friend is no safer in your car with the windows down.
"Stealing dogs? It's like come on. It's really like kidnapping to those who have dogs in their family," said dog owner Robert Wall.
Officials say the animals are eventually sold or even held for ransom. It's a doggone shame is you ask Burt Sobelman.
"Yeah I'll just be more conscious about keeping an eye on him at all times," he said.
Ana Bustilloz with the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles has tips for those who just can't leave their pet at home.
"Bring a friend. Look for a fellow dog owner. Buddy up, that sort of thing. You just do want to leave yourself open that sort of thing," she said.
Microchipping pups is also encouraged. But to be completely worry free, the spcaLA recommends leaving pets at home rather than unattended, even if it is just for a few minutes.