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Tag: thefts

Dog parking? Baguetteaboutit

They may be well-intentioned and address a real issue, but these parking crates for dogs that have appeared on the streets of New York worry me.

The woman behind them hopes to have 100 of them in place in Brooklyn by next spring, place them throughout New York City and, eventually, other cities across the country.

It works like this: You sign up for a membership, and receive a member card in the mail that unlocks the temperature controlled doghouse. Then you’re billed through the mail at a rate of 20 cents per minute.

Chelsea Brownridge told Fox 5 the idea grew out of her own concerns about leaving her dog Winston tied up when she has to run into a store.

Of course, that’s a troublesome practice, too — and more than a few dogs have been stolen after being left tied outside stores in New York, and elsewhere.

Dog parkers are now in test mode outside of two Fort Greene businesses, including Baguetteaboutit on Vanderbilt and DeKalb, where a spokesman welcomed the idea.

“A lot of our customers will open up the door and yell out to us, ‘Can you bring me out a sandwich? Can you bring me a menu? I don’t want to leave my dog.’ And we’ll accommodate them. This gives them an opportunity to take care of their dog while they come in and take care of themselves.”

Seems to me taking steps to accommodate dog-walking customers outdoors would be an easier solution — as would people leaving their dogs at home when they have the need to shop.

My main objections though come from being claustrophobic, and a technophobe.

The dog parking crate reminds me a little bit of those newspaper boxes (which you can probably get a pretty good deal on nowadays) — and simple as they were they often malfunctioned.

Dogs can see out of the boxes through a small plastic window, but the boxes still seem uncomfortably confining. And anything that is “temperature controlled” can see its temperature go out of control.

On top of that, anyone who has had to return to the hotel lobby three or more times to get one of those key cards rejiggered — so it actually opens the door to their room — knows those cards can’t be trusted.

What’s going to happen when a dog owner can’t get his dog out of the box?

An app is in the works that will allow customers to reserve boxes, but they otherwise will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Will New Yorkers end up fighting over them too, as they do parking spaces and taxi cabs? Will Uber dog parking boxes surface, charging only 10 cents a minute?

If a key card is able to open any dog parking crate in the city, might thieves just maybe figure that out and sign up for membership?

There are just too many questions. It might be easier to just make all business establishments dog friendly.

Until then, always walk with another friend when out with your dog, or leave the dog home, or — difficult as it may be — skip the baguette.

AKC offers tips on preventing dog theft

The American Kennel Club says dog thefts are on the rise.

The AKC says it has has tracked more than 115 missing pets via incidents reported by news media and customer reports through Nov. 30 of this year, compared to a total of 71 in 2008.

The AKC offers the following advice to lessen the chances of your dog being stolen:

— Don’t leave your dog off-leash or unattended in your yard. Keeping your dog close to you reduces the likelihood it will wander off and catch the attention of thieves. Dogs left outdoors for long periods of time are targets, especially if your fenced-in yard is visible from the street.

— Never leave your dog in an unattended car, even if it’s locked.

— Don’t tie your dog outside a store. If you need to go shopping, patronize only dog-friendly retailers or leave the dog at home.

— Protect your dog with microchip identification. Collars and tags can be removed so make sure you have permanent ID with a microchip.

— If you suspect your dog has been stolen. Immediately call the police / animal control officer in the area your pet was last seen and file a police report.

– Don’t buy dogs from the internet, flea markets, or roadside vans. There is no way to verify where an animal purchased from any of these outlets came from.

Additional tips can be found on the American Kennel Club website.

Dognapping scare hits Upper West Side

The New Yorker reports that a dognapping scare recently hit the city’s Upper West Side — leading to warning posters, email alerts, rumors and panic

DOGNAPPING attempts in NYC with RAZOR and RANSOM—get dogs ON LEASHES—happening on West Side,” read the subject line of one email warning.

Although there was no mention of police confirmation, the “Talk of the Town” piece said various rumors included a two-man team at work, one of whom goes by on a bicycle, slices the leash with a razor, then pedals away with the dog — no small drive-by feat when you think about it. Later, the second man calls with a ransom demand.

Other theories were that dogs were being taken to supply research labs, or being used for dogfighting dogs to practice on. Most of the dogs, according to the rumors at least, were small purebreds.

“The thinking used to be that a dog would provide security, not require it,” the piece begins. “But this was before Paris Hilton’s Chihuahua, Tinkerbell, went missing, in 2004 … It was before Trouble, Leona Helmsley’s white Maltese, inherited, in quick succession, twelve million dollars, a series of death threats, and a six-figure bodyguard detail. It was before the former Post publisher Ken Chandler and his wife responded to the disappearance of their blond dachshund, Gus, by hiring a publicist and a private detective. And it was before the subject of the Secret Service’s future canine charge became a national fixation.”