What do a 2 kg Chihuahua, a Pomeranian with silky fur, a muscular American Bully and a little Staffy have in common?
They are the most fashionable dogs, some are even stars of social networks.
Highly sought after, they are also very popular with thieves.
There is no official figure, but every week new research posters posted by grieving homeowners pop up.
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The craze is such that the prices are soaring. Some breeders or sellers take the opportunity to sell animals of uncertain origin at a high price. We thus find a puppy presented as a chihuaha "tea cup", understand "miniature that fits in a tea mug", at 2,000 euros. However, the animal is not registered in the LOF (French book of origins). Nothing therefore guarantees its origin, and the appearance that it will have adult. "He does not have the pedigree, concedes the saleswoman contacted by telephone. But he's half the average height. It is very rare… ”It is thus sold more expensive than the average price practiced by specialized breeders, which turns“ between 1,500 and 2,000 euros ”, according to a professional, appalled by these practices. “People buy on a whim without knowing anything about it,” she says. They get screwed,but above all they potentially maintain clandestine networks since we do not know where the puppy comes from. "
In Paris, two men on scooters tumble down and take a puppy
The greed makes dogs a prime target for thieves.
"Leaving your dog in front of a store for a quick run is like leaving a bundle of 500 euros lying around hoping to find it when leaving", asserts a volunteer from an animal protection association.
This is what happened to Mordjane, who was robbed of Bulma, a one-year-old American Staff, in front of a mini-market at Porte de Clignancourt in Paris (18th century), two weeks ago.
Keeping a constant eye on your pet is not always enough.
In the 19th arrondissement, Haivy, a 6-month-old Bull Terrier, was torn from his mistress on April 16.
That evening, however, she was walking her on a leash, but she could do nothing when two men on scooters made her fall to take her puppy in front of her eyes.
Posters and wanted notices concerning missing dogs are multiplying on social networks.
Same scenario in Villiers-sur-Orge (Essonne), mid-March.
It was the last night out for Ryuk, 6-month-old American Bully, and his 24-year-old mistress Océane when two men ran into them.
The young woman is "hit and blinded by a gas", until she lets go of the leash.
The commando expedition ended in injuries for Océane, and above all, “they took Ryuk from me”.
Finally, the latter has found his mistress, thanks to the mobilization of support groups which are multiplying on social networks.
A month after the assault, he was discovered in an apartment, 200 kilometers from the scene of the theft, with other animals.
"They all lived in their excrement, some were attached to radiators, others in cages 24 hours a day."
According to a source close to the investigation, the two intermediaries who had indicated the puppy to the thieves had been promised 3,000 euros each.
"It was really to traffic and resell animals in Belgium and Switzerland," said the same source.
She returns home to find three of her dogs missing
To counter snatch thefts, Sarah
(the first name has been changed)
"replaced the classic leashes with very thick leather, which cannot be cut with scissors, and with harnesses". At the end of March, this Parisian leaves her home with one of her four dwarf Spitz. On his return, the three other dogs, Dina, Mallow and Groove, disappeared. “I was robbed. That's all they stole from me, ”blows Sarah, who posted photos of her little companions on Instagram. “I was careful with the information I put there,” she insists, aware that it is a breed that attracts a lot. I can never walk them around without being asked questions about their origin, their price… ”
An "investigation is in progress, specifies a police source.
This kind of theft is committed in waves, depending on the mode.
At the moment it's the dwarf Spitz, but there was also the French bulldog, it's still trendy.
Very quickly, Sarah posted ads on social networks promising a reward.
“There was a lot of mutual aid, people put up posters in the street, posted them on the Internet, called vets…” In vain.
“They were found dead,” Sarah sighs, distraught.
I don't know what really happened.
I never imagined going through that, ”she continues.
A litter can bring in up to 10,000 euros
If these "fluff" dogs are so loved and stolen, it is because they "are in fashion", details a breeder from the Ile-de-France region. We see them in pubs but also with celebrities and reality TV stars. Many post photos with their "babies". This craze and its excesses, Laura Panier, of the Animal's planet animal refuge association, specializing in the search for stolen dogs, feels it. Originally from Avignon, she has visited the region many times in recent months for the “theft of 12 dogs, including seven in Paris”.
The market for these miniature animals is getting more and more juicy.
"The price of a Spitz varies according to the size, weight, color, everything counts in evaluating them", indicates a breeder from Ile-de-France.
They currently sell for an average of “2,000 euros”.
Depending on the pedigrees, they can reach from “3,500 to 7,000 euros.
A litter can bring in up to 10,000 euros ”.
Obviously it arouses envy.
Sometimes the story ends well.
As for Milo, 5-year-old Spitz who caused, despite himself, the loss of a team of seasoned burglars.
Stolen from his masters' car in Meulan-en-Yvelines last October, he was the subject of a formidable mobilization of social networks.
We have moved heaven and earth," his mistress is moved.
CCTV enabled us to draw the portrait of thieves, which has been shared more than 600,000 times on the Internet.
And then we got a phone call from a resident near Cergy
who had seen them with Milo.
On March 25, five months after his disappearance, Milo returned home and they were jailed.
How to make sure the seller is serious
The advertisement must meet specific criteria
(age, chip number, pedigree or not, SIREN number… If this is not the case: flee).
Check the LOF registration
with the Société centrale canine (the French Book of Origins lists "purebred dogs" and ensures the identity of the parents).
Ask for the age of the animal.
He must be over 8 weeks old.
The dog must be identified by a veterinarian,
on the one hand with the marking of the animal by electronic chip (or tattoo) and on the other hand through registration in the national identification file for domestic carnivores (Icad).