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FriFeb 14

Pet Theft Awareness Day – February 14, 2025

Pet Theft Awareness Day is February 14, the day of love, and of course, the love we have for our fur babies. With care for our four-legged friends, we observe Pet Theft Awareness Day to shed light on the disgraceful act of pet theft. Throughout our human history, domesticating animals has been gratifying. Humans and animals share a bond of infinite trust and a sense of belonging, and separation can be a traumatic experience for both parties. With pet theft and dognapping reaching alarming rates, Pet Theft Awareness Day is perfect to share resources about pet safety, and the actions we can take to recover stolen pets.

History of Pet Theft Awareness Day

Pet Theft Awareness Day is observed to enlighten the various methods of identification that can lead to the recovery of stolen pets. The day was introduced by Last Chance for Animals in 1988 to expand their advocacy for domesticated animals. Last Chance for Animals, a non-profit dedicated to the rehabilitation of animals, has led the movement against pet theft for over two decades. Ever since its creation in 1984 by actor Chris DeRose, the foundation has raised awareness about dos and don’ts of pet safety.

More than half of American families own a pet. The love we have for our furry friends can be rivaled only by the concern we all share about their safety. No matter how many doors we lock or leashes we buy, the risk of losing our pets can never be too low. One in three pets go missing at some point in their lives — only 20% of them are safely reunited with their families. Adding to these heartbreaking statistics is the fear of a stranger intentionally seeking to hurt your family and your pet with the petty act of theft.

The day was founded on the principle that prevention is better than cure. The pain of losing your pet cannot be put into words. The increasing cases of pet theft have made it imperative that we follow all safety protocols that ensure the security of our pets. Last Chance for Animals advocates for microchipping, tattooing, and many other methods of pet identification. The foundation provides a formulated road map and a game plan to recover your fur baby if it goes missing.

Pet Theft Awareness Day timeline

Chris DeRose is Born

DeRose is born in Brooklyn, New York.

Last Chance For Animals

Hollywood actor Chris DeRose establishes Last Chance for Animals in opposition to animal testing and vivisection.

The Day is Established

Last Chance for Animals launches Pet Theft Awareness Day to educate pet owners about the measures that ensure the safety of their pets.


The organization’s continued activism pushes the Supreme Court of New Jersey to cancel the bear-hunting season of December.

Last Chance for Animals Gains Recognition

The organization gains national prominence after raising funds and resources for the displaced animals in the aftermath of the 2011 Tsunami.

Pet Theft Awareness Day FAQs

Why are unneutered pets at a higher risk of being stolen?

Unneutered pets, as opposed to strays, are breedable and can produce desirable offspring that can be sold for tremendous profit. Half of the dogs sold in America are illegally bred, which makes the entire process ever more unconscionable.

What to do if my pet goes missing?

Take immediate action. Share photos and information about your pet on your social media, file a report with your local pet shelters, and talk to the security guards who patrol the area.

How can you know when a dog is lost/stolen?

Lost/stolen pets are trained and domesticated. They are more trusting and amiable than stray dogs. You can also judge a dog by its eating and peeing/pooping mannerisms. If you find a lost dog or suspect a stolen dog is under someone’s custody, report it to the nearest pet shelter immediately.

What are some additional tips to keep my pets safe?

Take recent pictures of your pet. Protect your property with safety equipment. Request your neighbors to watch over your pet if you are out of the house. Most importantly, always be extra alert. Never leave your dog alone outside.

How to Observe Pet Theft Awareness Day

  1. Secure your pet

    If you have a pet, make sure you are up to date on its security. Leashing your dog on walks, having an automatic door lock, microchipping, and tattooing are all methods of pet safety advocated by the Last Chance for Animals foundation.

  2. Volunteer at a pet shelter

    Pet shelters are always looking for animal-friendly volunteers who can rehabilitate animals and prepare them as prime candidates for adoption. On February 14, donate a couple of hours to a pet shelter near you.

  3. Adopt a rescue

    The second biggest tragedy of pet theft is the abandonment that ensues with noncomplying pets. Many times, these poor animals end up in a shelter or on the street. On Pet Theft Awareness Day, give the gift of a new life to one of these rescues. .

5 Heartbreaking Facts About Pet Theft That Need Your Attention

  1. It’s a huge problem

    Statistics reveal that two million pets on average are stolen in America each year.

  2. A flight risk for life

    One in every three pets will go missing at some point in their lives

  3. Targeted breeds

    Pit Bull, French Bulldog, and Yorkshire Terrier are some of the most targeted breeds of dogs.

  4. One in five never come back

    Less than 20% of stolen or missing dogs return safely to their homes.

  5. It’s a billion-dollar business

    Pet thieves earn a fortune by breeding stolen dogs and selling them in the market with a high-profit margin.

Why Pet Theft Awareness Day is Important

  1. An urgent call to action

    Pet Theft Awareness Day highlights the importance of establishing a routine that minimizes the theft of your beloved pet. On February 14, we raise awareness about taking proper precautions and understanding the roadmap of actions to be taken after the occurrence of pet theft.

  2. Pet theft is on the rise

    The culprits steal dogs and sell them at a gauged price, a practice we see repeated throughout the country. Pet Theft Awareness Day calls attention to the unfathomable scale of this tragedy.

  3. Advocacy for pet identification methods

    Last Chance for Animals advocates for the latest methods of dog safety such as microchipping and permanent tattoos. These methods of pet identification have helped thousands of families reunite with their pets.

Pet Theft Awareness Day dates

2025February 14Friday
2026February 14Saturday
2027February 14Sunday
2028February 14Monday
2029February 14Wednesday

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