Indianapolis woman desperate to find her puppy as reports of dog thefts skyrocket

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By Eric Levy

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Oct. 2, 2014) -- A west side woman is desperate to get her puppy back after she says it was stolen right out of her back yard.

That woman is not alone, and FOX59 has learned the problem of stolen puppies is getting worse as time goes by.

"I just want her back," said Linda Marshall, who is desperate to see her puppy "Dotty" again.

She has done so much to get people's attention. Ms. Marshall even took a cardboard box and a Sharpie marker and left a huge message on her front yard.

"What else can you do? I put flyers out," Marshall said. "I probably put out over 100 flyers, different flyers around there."

Ms. Marshall says she had gone to lunch for her son's birthday, Sunday. Her three dogs were safely in their backyard when she left. When she got home 90 minutes later, she saw the fencing was kicked in and peeled back.

"My other two dogs were sitting here and Dotty was gone," Marshall said. "Somebody picked her up and took her."

Dog nabbings are on the rise at an alarming rate. According to the American Kennel Club, 458 dogs were stolen in 2012, more than 600 were stolen the following year. As of July, 327 dogs were stolen this year.

Marshall now worries about Dotty's sister.

"This dog is just moaning and groaning and back and forth and crying and I'm afraid I'm gonna lose her now from grief. She's gonna die if Dotty don't come back," Marshall said.

Here are some tips from the American Kennel Club:

In the Neighborhood:

  • Don’t let your dog off the leash – Keeping your dog close to you reduces the likelihood it will wander off and catch the attention of thieves.
  • Don’t leave your dog unattended in your yard – Dogs left outdoors for long periods of time are targets, especially if your fenced-in yard is visible from the street.
  • Be Cautious with information – If strangers approach you to admire your dog during walks, don’t answer questions about how much the dog cost or give details about where you live.

On the Road:

  • Never leave your dog in an unattended car, even if it’s locked – Besides the obvious health risks this poses to the dog, it’s also an invitation for thieves, even if you are gone for only a moment. Leaving expensive items in the car such as a GPS unit or laptop will only encourage break-ins and possibly allow the dog to escape, even if the thieves don’t decide to steal it too.
  • Don’t tie your dog outside a store – This popular practice among city-dwelling dog owners can be a recipe for disaster. If you need to go shopping, patronize only dog-friendly retailers or leave the dog at home.