ALERT: Dog Owner’s Beware

( – In a disturbing trend, the nation’s capital has seen a surge in dog thefts executed with brazenness and disregard for the law, and there is growing concern that this trend will spread across the country.

The Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, DC, has been grappling with this emerging crime wave, with only a single arrest made amidst a series of pet thefts since late December.

These incidents are not mere acts of random delinquency but appear to be driven by a calculated understanding of the high demand and lucrative market for certain dog breeds.

Brandi Munden from the American Kennel Club highlights a stark reality: the demand for dog ownership significantly outstrips the supply, making certain breeds, such as the highly sought-after French Bulldog and American Bulldog, prime targets for thieves. These dogs can command prices ranging from $2,000 to nearly $10,000.

The thefts aren’t just limited to snatch-and-grab street crimes. There have been break-ins and even instances of vehicles being stolen with dogs inside.

One recent incident in the bustling U Street Corridor involved a French Bulldog puppy named Dak being taken from a car while a litter of American Bulldog puppies was stolen from a vehicle left running.

These thefts reflect a larger trend, one that saw a significant increase post-COVID-19 pandemic.

The American Kennel Club reports a concerning rise in dog thefts, with over 1,200 dogs stolen in 2021, escalating to more than 1,500 the following year. Although there was a slight decrease last year, the issue remains pressing.

The tactics employed by the thieves further underscore the seriousness of these crimes. A Pennsylvania woman attempting to sell her French Bulldog online was robbed at gunpoint — a harrowing reminder of the risks involved in such transactions. The suspect in this case, Kyrie Holmes, had a history of legal entanglements, including prior arrests, which raises questions about the effectiveness of the justice system in deterring repeat offenders.

The thefts extend beyond the streets, with homes being broken into and dogs stolen, as happened to one family on New Year’s Eve. This points to a broader public safety issue and the need for more effective measures to protect residents and their pets.

In response to this growing problem, Ms. Munden advises dog owners to take proactive steps, such as getting their pets microchipped and being cautious about where and how they buy or sell dogs. She suggests avoiding establishments where dogs are not allowed and stresses the importance of thorough vetting when purchasing dogs online.