Dog thefts on the rise; Denver family’s pet stolen from fenced backyard

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DENVER -- The growing problem of dog thefts continues in metro Denver.

Thieves take them from homes, yards, even pet stores.

A Denver family says thieves took their mini-schnauzer from their fenced-in backyard Saturday.

“This has to be at least a six-foot tall fence. It’s taller than me. And it’s got latches in two different locations,” says dog owner, Wendy Aronson.

But when she got home Saturday afternoon, the door was wide open and her mini-schnauzer Eve, was gone.

Her family launched a frantic search in the neighborhood. She says they feel incredibly violated.

“Someone was in our yard, possibly in our house. That feels terrible. Then, to come home and be missing a very valuable family member,” she says.

But more than anything they worry about Eve’s health and safety. “She’s not house trained yet. So that going to present some problem for whoever is keeping her right now,” says Aronson.

Eve’s abduction is nothing new. In 2011, we showed you how thieves pilfered pooches from pet stores in metro Denver.

These reports of stolen dogs continue to climb nationally. Last year, thieves stole 458 dogs. That is up from 444 in 2011, 255 in 2010 and just 71 in 2008.

Animal experts say one way to protect your pet is to microchip it--that way a veterinarian or shelter can identify the true owner if the dog ends up at that facility.

“That way if something does happen you can be more likely to be reunited with your pet,” says Michelle Ray with the Dumb Friends League.

For Wendy, all she has are reminders of her little hound, who she says had a hard life—caged as a breeder for four years.

And she just wants her to have a happy home.

“Ultimately, we want our baby back. She’s a member of our family. We definitely are not complete without her,” she says.

Aronson says neighbors saw a white couple take the dog. They were in a white Mustang. The man is between 5’7” and 5’9” tall.

The family is offering a substantial reward. They so no questions asked if you return the dog. You can reach them at 303-520-7581.