As CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported Monday, both dogs were later let go and located, but their owners have a warning to other dog owners.READ MORE: Congressional House Hearing Held To Discuss COVID's Impact On Arts Industry
Zushi is back home after the 3-month-old pup became the latest French bulldog stolen. This one during a Bay Shore house break-in on Saturday.
“I am not exactly too sure if they are targeting them. I would say everybody who owns a Frenchie to please be careful. I know that they’re also very expensive,” said Catherine Vasquez. “Definitely protect your little ones.”
Vasquez’s family was reunited with their $6,000 puppy by a Selden animal clinic after a woman who refused to identify herself turned him in.
That came on the heels of another dognapping on Thanksgiving. Four-year-old Stella, also a French bulldog, was stolen from inside a Huntington home and later found wandering 30 miles away.
“It’s just unbelievable that this is happening,” said the dog’s owner Jennifer Hauck.
It’s a troubling trend that made headlines in February when Lady Gaga’s two French bulldogs were violently swiped from her dog walker.
An estimated 2 million dogs are stolen every year. The pandemic has driven up demand, prices and, therefore, theft.READ MORE: Police: 11-Month-Old Child Shot In Face In The Bronx
“These animals are very expensive now… Because of COVID, the prices become so inflated,” said Gary Rogers from Nassau SPCA.
Suffolk SPCA Chief Roy Gross said back-to-back break-ins should prompt dog owners to take action. He urged folks to limit what they post on social media.
“You post something out there, they know where you live. You’re a target and it’s drawing attention to it,” Gross said.
Never leave dogs outside alone. Last month, a Yorkshire terrier puppy was stolen from his West Babylon front lawn.
On average, it costs around $45 to have a veterinarian implant an identifying microchip in a pet. But they can prove to be priceless.
“You can get a GPS on the dogs, on their collars. You immediately will know their location, just like your iPhone,” said Hauck.
Stealing a dog with a value of more than $1,000 is a felony – grand larceny. It’s also a crime to remove a dog’s identifying collar.MORE NEWS: Family Of 79-Year-Old Martha Dagbatsa Speaks Out After Deadly Bronx Blast
Suffolk police are investigating any possible link between the thefts of Stella and Zushi.