Tag: Harmony Fund Charity

Protecting our dogs from being stolen!

Can you imagine anything more awful!

I’m not sure if we are out and about with our dogs more frequently in the Summer but one would assume so.

But whatever the season, the number of people that do take their dogs with them when they are out is very significant.

So a recent article published by Care 2 about how thieves do steal dogs seemed timely.


5 Ways Thieves Could Steal Your Dog

Editor’s note: This Care2 favorite was originally posted on January 1, 2013. Enjoy!

Sergeant Kenneth Chambers was playing Frisbee with his dog in the parking lot of a Jacksonville, Florida, grocery store recently when lightning struck out of the clear blue sky. The young American veteran, in recovery for post traumatic stress disorder, rolled down the car windows and placed his Australian Shepard/Blue Heeler Mix inside the vehicle just briefly, while he went inside to help his mother with the bags. When he came out moments later, Adalida was gone.

Unfortunately for Sergeant Chambers, and for Adalida, the parking lot scenario placed them in two of the top five high-risk situations for pet theft. And while Sergeant Chamebers’ search continues for Adalida, there are measures that all of us can take to prevent a similar tragedy.

Here are five of the top high-risk pet theft scenarios to avoid: 

1. Dogs in cars

In the blink of an eye, a partially opened window can be forced down or smashed. It takes 20 seconds or less to abduct a dog, and by the time a pet owner returns to the car, their dog is long gone. The American Kennel Club reports a 70 percent rise in dog theft in 2012 and a 40 percent rise the year before. A weak economy has fueled financially motivated dog-napping — and a dog in a car is, quite simply, a sitting duck.

2. Highly prized breeds or dogs with special abilities

A purebred dog or a dog with special skills is a bit like a gold watch. Thieves see dollar signs, and that’s more than enough temptation. Any dog left unattended can be taken, but there is far greater motivation for criminals to walk off with a dog who can bring in a large sum of cash.

3. Pets left in fenced backyards

Everyone loves the convenience of a doggy door — especially criminals. Homeowners who let their pet explore the fenced yard without supervision maintain the illusion of safety, but police departments across the country will tell you that this isn’t enough.

In broad daylight on a single Saturday in November, Corning Animal Shelter Manager Debbie Eaglebarger documented the theft of four Dobermans, four Australian shepherds and two Rottweilers. One neighbor witnessed a man and a woman lure one of the dogs out of a backyard and into their vehicle. All dogs taken that day were purebred, but that is not always the case.

4. Pets left tied in front of businesses

This one may sound like a no-brainer, but particularly in urban areas where pets accompany their owners on errands, it’s not uncommon to find dogs tied up in front of a bank or grocery store. Typically, these are dogs with a gentle demeanor — and that makes them highly susceptible to the commands of a would-be thief.

“Leaving your dog tied up in front of a store is about as ludicrous as leaving your child out front and saying, ‘Wait right there, I’ll be back in 10 minutes,” explains Howard Simpson of Integrated Security and Communications in Tyngsboro, Massachusetts. “Do yourself a favor and realize that there are security risks in even the safest of neighborhoods. Being naive makes you a target.”

5 Strangers in the neighborhood

Any strangers on your property can be a risk to your pets. Whether they are invited contractors, deliverymen or political campaigners, visitors could easily grab a pet during a moment when the homeowner is distracted. In some cases, they are making a mental note of homes with valuable breeds or easy-to-subvert home security that will facilitate a quick dog-napping at a later time. It bears mentioning that it’s not uncommon for cats to jump into the back of truck beds for a snooze and to be unwittingly carried off at the end of the day.

Which breeds are most likely to be stolen?

According to the American Kennel Club, the most stolen dog of 2011 was the Yorkshire terrier, followed by the Pomeranian, Maltese and Boston terrier. Small breeds are targeted by thieves because of their size but also because of their value on the market — a single dog can fetch well over $1,000! Among the large breeds, Labrador retrievers are a frequent target, as well as pit bull terriers and pit bull mixes – perhaps for a much more sinister purpose.

Why do thieves target pets?

1. Bait dogs and laboratory dogs

This is every dog guardian’s worst nightmare. Indeed people involved in dog fighting will gather “bait” dogs to be used as training tools for fighting dogs. It happens in both urban and rural areas, and there has been no measurable decline in dog fighting in recent years. Despite some legislation intended to stop the sale of undocumented dogs to research laboratories, under-the-table sales continue — and, in some countries, these exchanges are not considered a crime.

2. Financially motivated theft

“For the first time ever we’ve seen a trend now where shelters are being broken into and purebred and mixed breed dogs are being stolen,” said Lisa Peterson, spokesperson for the American Kennel Club. In fact, any purebred dog, particularly puppies, is considered a high-value commodity. Even with a microchip, it’s often too late when a pet buyer discovers that they have purchased a stolen dog.  By then, the thief is long gone.

3. Emotionally driven theft

What’s often overlooked are the emotionally motivated crimes that rob dogs of their families. This can happen because the perpetrator feels that a dog is not being properly cared for. Some animal lovers will feel justified in stealing a dog that is tied in front of a store or who gets  loose one day. Other times it’s an act of revenge, and, in many cases, a former romantic partner is considered the prime suspect.

Whatever the scenario or the motivation, dog guardians can best protect their dogs with watchfulness. Never leave a dog unattended. Secure your home, including all doors and windows, to the best of your ability and budget. And be wary of strangers in your neighborhood at all times.

Brought to you by the Harmony Fund, an international animal rescue charity.

Maybe we all need saving!

Back to that wonderful theme.

My post of last Tuesday week, the one about Murat Şahin feeding the dogs and cats in Istanbul, was so warmly welcomed by you.

So with your ‘Likes’ and wonderful comments still feeling like a long hug, metaphorically speaking, a week-and-a-half later I thought it would be nice to publish this today. It was seen over on the Care2 website.


Over-The-Moon Taxi Driver Saves Dog From River

3194543-largeCaki Bravo is becoming rather well known across Sarajevo as the man who saves dogs. The 6′ 2″ tall taxi driver is a gentle giant whose passion leads to the rescue of at least a dozen street dogs each month. Caki’s latest rescue was caught on video, and his over-the-moon reaction is something viewers can’t stop watching.

Watch Caki’s Unbridled Happiness When He Saves The Dog

(The video is not on YouTube but you may watch it by going here.)

“People said that he was pushed by a passerby, a man of about 30 years old,” Caki says explaining how the dog now named Rio ended up in the river. “We were trying to pull him up but it was really hard because he was in a panic.”

14958863_1887382628162398_1452435895_n-e1479772182279And when dealing with a frightened dog, patience is an essential element for success. Fortunately, having rescued several hundred dogs in recent years, Caki knew just what to do.

14961329_1887488414818486_1114992854_n-e1479772145641“When he was brought to dry ground, he was shaking from the cold and from the fear,” Caki explains.

But within minutes, Rio was warming to the idea of human touch and sitting comfortably in the lap of rescue teammate Edina Pasic. Rio is now adjusting very well in foster care.”

15109369_1023327187796839_2243034638044163209_n-e1479771894671Caki belongs to a collective of rescuers in Bosnia who are caring for at least a couple thousand dogs in any given month. He and the others  spent last weekend delivering bales of straw to a municipal dog pound to keep the dogs warm for winter.

The volunteer visit each Sunday includes delivering a large meal to each and every dog. Unfortunately, the town feeds the dogs only stale bread during the week. Rescuers are attempting to provide good quality food more often.

15027843_1893013444265983_1309771584715394544_n-e147977193267315095077_1893013504265977_5306553848004701128_n-e1479772017876The USA-based Harmony Fund charity has just provided meals for the volunteers to deliver to the dogs throughout the month of December. The group often posts updates of the Bosnian rescue efforts on their Facebook page.


Again and again dogs show us the power of love! (And forgiveness!)


Golly, there are some great persons out there!

What a wonderful sequel to yesterday’s post!

I am always amazed at how things turn out. Call it serendipity or what!

Because, as much as I love publishing a daily post in this place, not infrequently I think what on earth am I going to find to write about; or republish!

As it was yesterday morning. Not only did I have a heap of things to do around the house but also other ‘office’ work that had to come first.

Then in my email in-box there was another story from Care2. It made a perfect follow-on to yesterday’s post about how rescued dogs go on to become rescue dogs.

Enjoy! (And many thanks Miss Serendipity!)


Hero on Motorbike Delivers Food to Street Dogs and Cats

3194050-largeBy: Laura S. November 20, 2016

About Laura

Murat Şahin climbs onto his dusty motorbike and holds his breath as he turns the key, hoping the engine will start. His trip is important because he’s going to feed more than 100 dogs in the forest of Aydos in Istanbul, Turkey. Dozens of cats living along the rocky coastal walls are waiting for him too.

fullscreen-capture-11142016-55055-pm-e14792322639441Watch Murat Feed the Animals

Murat’s mission is important to him, it’s a spiritual calling in fact, and he is deeply devoted to serving the hungry animals as you will see in the uplifting video below.

Murat does take some animals to the veterinarian for spay/neuter, but it isn’t always feasible. Some of the animals are wild, and without a car, he can’t bring a trap or transport them easily. He also doesn’t have the funds to do sponsor spay/neuter on a wide scale on his own.

fullscreen-capture-11142016-55135-pm-e14792322398831“Murat has never asked for any help,” fellow volunteer Anna Efe explains. “He has always used his own money and collected food at a restaurant and a local canteen. Also, some butchers were giving him leftovers free of charge. But this year the situation has changed. The butchers stopped giving leftovers for free and, on top of that, Murat’s old motorbike was stolen. It was his only way to deliver food to the forest dogs.”

Though Murat did manage to find a very low-priced bike to replace the stolen one, the replacement bike frequently breaks down. In fact, it broke down immediately after the filming of the video on this page.

Better Days Ahead

fullscreen-capture-11142016-55807-pm-e14792322056231The Harmony Fund charity, based in the U.S., is working on a surprise for Murat. The group is attempting to raise funds to purchase a reliable, used car for Murat’s rescue work and would be shared by Murat and his fellow volunteers working together as an authorized rescue team in Turkey. The car would have several advantages over the bike including carrying larger quantities of food, transporting animals to the veterinarian and safer transportation during bad weather.


If anyone reading this post can find it in their hearts to make a donation, then this link on the Harmony Fund website is the place to go. You can specifically nominate that your gift goes to Murat out in Turkey. (And Jean and I have made a modest donation to Harmony to be passed to Murat.)