Make Dognapping a Serious Federal Crime

Missing Dog

Target: Jim Langevin, Congressman and Member of the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus

Goal: Implement harsh federal penalties to people charged with dognapping.

In many states, penalties for dognapping consist of receiving nothing more than a mere “slap on the wrist.” If this does not change, many more dogs will suffer as a result of this horrible crime.

According to the American Kennel Club, the number of dogs stolen has risen by 70 percent since last year. Both small dogs and large dogs are targeted and may be used for a variety of reasons, including dog fighting, as a means of producing income, or for breeding purposes.

While it was once common to steal one dog at a time, it is now much more common to steal multiple dogs at once. Unfortunately, oftentimes dogs are stolen from kennels–the very places that pet owners expect their dogs to remain safe.

Currently, people who are charged with dognapping often receive the same legal penalties as people who steal property. Even worse, criminals are usually only charged with having committed a misdemeanor and are only given a small fine, or a short amount of jail time, if any.

Dogs are living creatures, not emotionless objects that can easily be replaced, and they should not be viewed in the same capacity. Sign this petition and demand that a nationwide law be made that would implement stricter penalties for people who commit this very cold-hearted and heinous crime.


Dear Representative Langevin,

When a person is charged for stealing a dog, they are usually given the same punishment as if they had committed petty theft. If dogs continue to be viewed under the law as replaceable objects, many more animals will suffer as a result of this leniency.

Alarmingly, it is estimated by the American Kennel Club that 70 percent more dogs have been stolen this year than last year. Considering less than half a year has passed, this change is staggering. What’s more, people can’t even take their dogs to dog parks, dog beaches, or even on walks in certain places without having to worry about unethical individuals coming out of nowhere and stealing their beloved pet.

In most states, these criminals are charged with a misdemeanor, only punishable by a fine or possibly a small amount of jail time. However, dogs are living creatures and should not be treated like property that one can quickly and easily replace.

For all of these reasons, I encourage you to support dog theft becoming a felony in the United States in an effort to implement stricter fines and penalties to criminals who commit this inexcusable act. If we continue to treat dognapping as a joke, many more dogs will likely suffer and die at the hands of callous thieves.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: J Mark Dodds

Sign the Petition

  • Only your name will be displayed. By signing, you accept our terms and may receive updates on this and related causes.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
FacebookCare2 NewsTwitterEmailShare


  1. leta rosetree, M.A. says:

    I realize this is not the place to discuss the fact that laws seldom stop crime… Instilling a sense of respect at home and in schools, by EXAMPLE (action) and WORDS (teaching) is perhaps the only effective place to start …once a child is grown, it’s usually too late to alter deeply ingrained values.

  2. I agree, we need to have stiffer laws for animals & a lot of us agree that they’re family not just property!! Punish them to the full extent of the law & never let them have or be around another animal ever!

  3. Only psychopaths would commit such horrific crimes — catch them, throw them in jail and throw away the key — they’re a danger to us all!

  4. Please implement harsh measures to address this issue quickly and effectively. Low crime rates can be minimized as long as the relevant authority takes tougher stance against the perpetrators.

  5. Alice Cheang says:

    Please implement harsh measures to address this issue quickly and effectively. Low crime rates can be minimized as long as the relevant authority takes tougher stance against the perpetrators.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *




5820 Signatures

  • G Petersen
  • Marga Gili
  • Marga Gili
  • Ram Dar
  • Tim Maurer
  • K. Smith
  • Junko Deguchi
  • Joel Quaintance
  • Carolyn Taylor
  • J Varcoe
1 of 582123...582
Skip to toolbar