Imagine coming home from work to find your beloved pet has gone missing. Sadly, this was the reality for Shawan Weathers, whose pet pooch was stolen last October. Police are now warning owners to be vigilant after a spate of dog thefts over the past year. However, not even the lure of Murfreesboro’s homeless dogs at PAWs is enough to stop these locals from asking what’s happened to their beloved pooches.
Murfreesboro’s stolen hounds
Shawan Weathers’ Staffordshire Terrier, Nyla, disappeared from the family’s yard in Murfreesboro last October. They believe their adored hound was a victim of theft, as their neighbor’s dog also disappeared around the same time. “She was nowhere to be found. She totally disappeared. Just vanished,” Weathers said. Meanwhile, Aly Duke’s Labrador retriever, Marley, has been missing since just before Christmas and, again, they strongly suspect that he has been stolen. Duke admits that Marley has escaped previously, but only for very short periods of time. “He’s never been gone this long,” she states. “We believe he was stolen.”
Where are the city’s missing pets?
Local police have confirmed that hundreds of dogs were stolen from Murfreesboro and mid-Tennessee last year. They state that the thefts are a result of organized crime, and that thieves look for easy targets. Therefore, ensuring both your front and back yard are secure at all times is crucial. Weathers says that she’s been warned by police that stolen dogs are usually quickly removed from the area. However, she hasn’t given up hope of finding Nyla. Making the effort to microchip your pet is highly recommended, as is calling around animal shelters throughout the state, as it’s possible your pet could have been picked up outside of your immediate area.
Enticing your pet back
Of course, not every missing dog, cat, or rabbit in Murfreesboro is missing as a result of being stolen. As Marley’s story previously highlighted, some pets do wander off by themselves when a door or gate is left open, and others get lost while exploring. If you do suspect that your pet is simply missing, start by leafleting the local area, asking around and leaving recognizable scents out that will entice your pet back. For cats, it’s recommended that you place their litter tray outside the home. Experts say that the familiar smell of their regular cat litter will help a missing kitty to find their way back home. Whereas, placing your dog’s blanket, best toy or favorite treats outside your back door will persuade him to return home if he’s hiding out nearby. Even if you suspect that your pet’s been stolen, it’s still wise to do this, as he or she could escape and try to make their way back home to you.
With police confirming that dog theft is prevalent in the city, Murfreesboro’s pet owners are on high alert. Therefore, taking steps to keep your pet safe is highly recommended.