CHEATHAM COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – For the past week, Cheatham county residents have expressed concerns online about missing pets.
Ashland City resident, Ashley Howard, has been desperately searching for her missing dog, Axel, since Tuesday.
Axel usually naps on her front porch but when Howard returned from inside, she couldn’t find him anywhere.
“It had only been about twenty minutes. There are so many ‘would’ve, could’ve, should’ve’ thoughts.”
On social media, Howard found out she’s not the only one with a missing dog or concerns about missing dogs.
Last week, one woman posted in a Facebook group that she thought someone may have been trying to lure or steal her dog.
Cheatham County Animal Control director, Kristin Reid, said dog thefts can and do happen,
“I think it is a common problem not only for our county but for Middle Tennesse.”
In Cheatham county’s shelter, they maintain a running list of missing pets.
Reid told News 2 that some of those pets may have strayed from home, but that doesn’t account for them all,
“When people are looking for the prime place to steal an animal from, they’re going to be looking at the more rural counties, because those dogs – they typically do live outside. Or they spend a lot of time outside, in a fenced yard or on a tether.”
Reid said there are three common reasons why dogs are stolen: people think they can give the dog a better life, people are looking for cash or people are looking for a bait dog.
“It’s becoming more of a trend here lately, people taking mixed breeds off of people’s property and selling it as ‘designer breeds.’ ” said Reid.
Reid said the best way to prevent your dog from being lured or stolen is to constantly be aware of your surroundings and your animals’ surroundings.”
Meanwhile, Howard and her family plan to continue searching for Axel.
“I hope somebody will bring him home but if they don’t, like I said earlier, I just hope that they would give him a loving home because he’s a great dog and he deserves it. if someone wants to return him, there will be no questions asked.”
Cheatham County Animal Controls said if residents suspect someone has stolen their dog, to contact them and then police.