Livingston SPCA: Thefts of purebred dogs rise in holiday season

LIVINGSTON PARISH, LA (WAFB) - The SPCA of Livingston reports there has been recent rash of thefts involving purebred dogs.

Volunteers said it's a common crime that typically spikes during the holidays.

The Soileaus have a special place in their hearts for animals. Their household consists of several pets including a family of four Yorkies. But Sherry Soileau said one of them, T-Man, the leader of the pack is missing.

"T-Man is our baby, sleeps with us every night. He wakes up every morning with us and we have the same routine every morning," Soileau said.

Soileau said Tuesday morning he never came home.

"Within 15 minutes my husband said, I can't find T-Man," Soileau said.

The Soileaus haven't stopped looking.

"We've put these fliers in everybody's mailbox and everybody on our street knows about it," Soileau said.

They also turned to the Internet. Soileau said when she started looking at the Facebook page "Livingston Parish Lost & Found Pets" she noticed something startling. Her Yorkie was not the only one missing. In fact, Michelle Veron, a volunteer for the SPCA of Livingston said it is common for pure breeds, Yorkies and Poodles especially, to disappear during the holidays.

"So far in just this week alone I know of five Yorkies that are missing. One was stolen from woman's house. Someone broke into her house and stole it," Veron said.

Yorkies typically sell for $600 to $1,200.

Veron said they are hot items on many Christmas lists.

She suggested keeping a close watch on your pets when they go outside, make sure they wear an updated identification tag, and that they are micro chipped. 

"If a person steals one and they are taken to the vet and the micro chip is found then they can be recovered because a vet will not treat will not treat them with a micro chip that's not registered to that person," Veron said.

The Soileau's said T-Man does have a chip. But with every day that passes, Sherry said, she becomes more filled with worry.

"It's the unknown, not knowing where he's at, if someone's taking care of him. It's just important he's a part of our family," Soileau said.

Visit the links below to report a lost or found pet in Livingston Parish:

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