There are more dog-napping reports on social media in central Alberta than there are police reports, say Olds RCMP.
Staff Sgt. Jim MacDonald said the RCMP in central and southern Alberta have “received only a few reports of dog thefts in the last two months.”
“In some cases, the dogs were later located by the owners and determined not to be stolen. In other cases, the dogs may have been unlawfully taken,” he explained.
The Olds RCMP received one complaint in the past two months of a missing dog from the rural area. The owner reported it lost or possibly stolen in early January.
There was no specific evidence that the dog was stolen, MacDonald said about the report Tuesday.
As of Jan. 30, there were no reports of dog-napping or attempts filed with the Red Deer RCMP.
A recent social media post states a dog theft attempt was made at a Blackfalds dog park, when two strangers wearing black coats and hoods started calling someone’s dog after they heard the pooch’s name.
“If it wasn’t for a man walking in and noticed my friend (dog owner) yelling after them, they would have gotten away. Luckily, they dropped the dog as soon as they saw the man walking towards them and raced off,” the post reads.
Some people on social media claim a woman sentenced to 90 days in prison in Red Deer court in November might be behind the dog-napping attempts in central Alberta.
The culprit posed as an animal control officer in an attempt to steal an Innisfail woman’s dog.
MacDonald chose not to comment on the issue.
“I can confirm we are aware of the content and concerns expressed in the recent social media posts,” MacDonald said.
“With regard to the opinions expressed on social media, people are free to post their thoughts and concerns. However, those who cross the line and post threats of harm or other communications of a criminal nature, must be aware that they could find themselves as subjects of a criminal investigation, which may lead to charges.”
Reports of stolen pets are treated much like any other investigation, MacDonald said. Although pets are often viewed as family members, the law treats them as property.