The city is witnessing a rise in the cases of pet theft, which often leave emotional scars on owners.
Chetan’s black pug was stolen last year and the theft haunted the family for about a year till Dr Sarabjit Jaiswal called Chetan to tell him his pet was at his clinic. “Someone came to my clinic with a dog for vaccination. I recognised the dog and called Chetan. The man who had brought the pet fled after I threatened to call the police,” Jaiswal said.
The police have admitted that the number of such cases has increased. “Several cases of dog theft have been reported from the city. We recently had three cases from Palam Vihar only. Residents of posh areas such as DLF and Sushant Lok are the main complainants,” joint commissioner Alok Mittal said.
This is the reality Gurgaon pet owners are facing. “Most of the thieves are from villages that surround posh residential areas of the city. Labradors are stolen by breeders who use their bodies for business purposes,” Tulika Mehra of Walk for Animals and Habitat, an NGO, said.
Mansi Kumar, another pet owner from Palam Vihar, said, “I generally leave my black Labrador outside without a leash. It goes for a walk near my house and comes back on its own. But with the recent cases of thefts, I accompany him out for a walk.”
Thieves mainly target labradors, pugs and other small breeds.
Dr S Mahindran, director of CGS Hospital in DLF Phase 3, said, “We had two cases where people came with stray dogs. We then published advertisements in papers and owners came to take their pets. Small breeds like pug, cocker spaniel and beagles are mainly targeted as they are easier to handle and get a good re-sale price.”
“One should never leave a dog without a leash in open areas, no matter how trained it is. One should also have an identification mark on one’s pet.
Apart from these, a micro chip can be inserted under the pet’s skin which can later be used to track the pet,” Mahindran added.
Many times people are seen purchasing small breeds like pugs as they are easily available through advertisements. These dogs are generally called Vodafone dog or hush puppies.