Burglars Aren’t Predictable: Protecting Your Pets

Here at Safe Residence, we’re making every effort to give you the facts you’ll need for informed decisions to protect your family, your home, your pets and your valuables. Statistically, police reports tell us repeatedly that burglars mostly want cash or items that can be exchanged for cash; watches, jewelry, prescription drugs, guns and electronics still top the list. These non-cash items can be turned into cash without difficulty, just what thieves are looking for.

But crime is never completely predictable, given that burglaries are often driven by a drug habit and habitual drug users are not always the most stable personality types. A desperate crook can set out to remove anything that gets in his way and sometimes that thing may be your pet.

Pepper’s Story

An Oregon family whose home was burgled a few months ago were devastated – not so much by the theft – but because the burglars took the family’s pet dog. “We got “Pepper” from our local animal shelter 8 years ago and she’s part of the family, we just want her home.” said a family spokesperson.

Although the stolen goods consisted of watches, jewelry, laptop computer, flat screen TV and cameras; for the family the worst part was they took Pepper. Taking the dog made no sense, she wasn’t a special breed and not worth much but to the people who love her she’s a treasure.

Fortunately Pepper’s story has a happy ending. Two days after the break-in she was handed in at the county Animal Care and Control and reunited with her family.

Micro-chipping technology is widely used nowadays and is one way of ensuring your pet is returned to you. A micro-chip (the size of a grain of rice) implanted under the pet’s skin acts as a tracking device. Microchips are becoming standard at shelters including it as part of the adoption package. Animal-control officers, shelters and veterinarians are trained and equipped to scan animals.

Not Always a Happy Ending

When burglars and pets meet, the outcome is often tragic for pet owners. One home burglary in Illinois left the family dog dead and as in other cases like this, rewards were offered for the arrest of the dog’s killer. The 9 year old pet dog was found dead in the house; he had been shot in the head and the home ransacked.

Incidents like this make local headlines all the time. No, they’re not the norm but they do happen and they’re happening now. For example, from the NBC Bay Area news:

On Friday October 10th, a dog was beaten and bloodied during a home burglary in San Jose. Police are investigating the residential burglary that left a small family pet dog injured and bleeding. Just after 11 a.m., police received a report of the burglary and an animal cruelty incident. When the homeowner arrived home, he found his house ransacked with blood throughout his home.

According to police, the suspects assaulted the family dog during the armed robbery, causing it injuries and bleeding. After searching everywhere in the home, the Pomeranian mix was found hiding in the patio. The burglars reportedly stole jewelry, a laptop, and other electronics, but what was shocking is it appeared the suspects went out of their way to kick or beat the 14-pound pet.

Reports from the veterinary hospital where the dog was being treated say that he is expected to live.


For those of us who own pets, stories like these make for scary reading. If your pets are an important part of your family, the best way to protect them from theft, murder or assault is with a monitored home alarm system.

Of course, it just happens to be the best way to protect your home too…giving you peace of mind at the same time.


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