Dognapping is the act of intentionally taking a dog without the owner’s consent. Dognapping has become an increasingly common crime in the United States. The American Kennel Club estimates that cases of dognapping have gone up seventy percent since 2010.

What Is the Penalty for Dognapping?

A dog is considered personal property, so stealing a dog does not give rise to a kidnapping claim. Instead, the crime is considered to be theft or grand theft. It may also be burglary if the dognapper broke into a structure to take the dog.

In some jurisdictions, such as Virginia, dognapping is considered a felony and can be punished by up to 10 years in jail.

Do I Need a Lawyer?

If you are accused of dognapping, you should contact a criminal defense lawyer. Your lawyer can help you defend your reputation and even negotiate a settlement for your case.