Dog thefts massively increasing, Henderson Animal Control reports

Officers encouraging owners to microchip pets

Dog thefts massively increasing, Henderson Animal Control reports

HENDERSON, Ky. (WFIE) - A warning is issued by a Tri-State animal control officer in regard to protecting your pets.

14 News is learning dog thefts are massively on the rise. This is according to a recent social media post by Henderson Animal Control. One of its officers is offering tips to try to cut down on this crime.

Mobile apps like NextDoor allow neighbors to commute about a variety of topics and we are finding a few examples from people who were almost victims.

The dogs housed in row A kennels are strays that were likely picked up by Animal Control Officer Kayla Main.

“You can just see in their eyes, they don’t know what’s going on,” Main recalled.

She picked up five dogs in the hours before 14 News spoke to her. She says this number is on par for the weekly average.

“By 10:00, we’re already getting swamped with calls,” Main described. “There’s a stray running on this street. There’s two dogs running this one.”

Pets have always played an important role in her life. It’s hard to say how many she has owned over the years.

“I’d say zero because they’re family; I don’t really consider them pets,” Main said.

Perhaps that is why she is drawn to her job.

“It’s easier to mess with the animals than people half the time,” Main smiled.

14 News was present as two owners came to pick up their dogs that got loose, but for Officer Main, she knows not everyone is so lucky.

“We got a call and they said our dog literally just got out,” Main told 14 News. “I was chasing it. He got a little bit ahead of me. We saw somebody calling the dog to their car and I’m hollering “Hey, that’s my dog!” They looked at me, jumped in their car and sped off.”

She says dog thefts are massively increasing and explained that every dog has value, whether it is for resale, ransom, breeding or baiting.

“I get really emotional,” Main stated. “I try to hold those back because of my position, but it’s hard.”

An Evansville woman told 14 News on the phone she believes they caught a man attempting to steal one of her foster dogs out of her backyard.

“I just saw a hand reaching over the back fence,” Suzanne Wright shared. “And I thought that’s odd. People don’t typically do that. I went up there and said, ‘What are you doing?’ And he took off.”

She is not alone. Another recent online post also warned local pet owners to be extra protective.

Advice from animal control includes the following tips:

  • Never leave your dog alone outside even on your own property.
  • Do not let young children walk your dogs.
  • Make sure your dog is microchipped and the details are up to date.

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