This is an important message to dog owners who love their dogs: Don’t leave your dog tied up outside. Please! No matter how desperate you are for a roll of toilet paper or an avocado.

After shopping at Met Food on Driggs I spotted this adorable dog tied up outside. What an easy puppy to steal, I thought. But since I have a conscience, I walked across the street to the liquor store for a bottle of white, talked with the owner for at least 3 minutes about how Hennessy has a monopoly on Cognac and when I came out the pooch was still alone. I had enough time to walk back and take a bunch of photos and still no owner was in sight.

People – bad people – steal dogs and sell them or do horrible things to them. Dogs “are typically stolen for money, bait, or lab testing,” according to CBS who reported a dog napping while the owner was present. And don’t think it’s just little dogs that are stolen, even big tough looking dogs, like pitbulls and shepherds, are targets.

Everyday in Greenpoint, I see too many sweet and well-cared for dogs left alone at the risk of being dognapped. As New Yorkers we are multi-taskers with little time, but if running errand means leaving your dog tied up, please don’t take the risk.

I am sure the dog pictured has an owner who loves him and I hate to make him an example, but hopefully it will make others think twice, not to mention limit the neighborhood’s heartbrokenness every time we see a poster with a missing pet on it.


Keep your puppies safe, Greenpoint!

Join the Conversation


  1. Agreed. No excuses. Think about the financial and emotional investment you’ve made with this animal. Why would you just leave it out in a city where we equate anything left on the sidewalk as being “free”. Would you leave your iPhone or laptop on the sidewalk for ten minutes? Isn’t your dog more important than your iPhone? That’s how I’ve approached.

  2. Love your blog. It’s terrible when owners do this. Just like when parents leave babies in a hot car. I think that the real issue at hand is more small businesses need to open their doors to allowing dogs in. If this well behaved dog was allowed in to Mel’s, then he wouldn’t have been tied up.
    Allow me to bring in a screaming 6 month old or a rambunctious toddler without a blink of an eye.

    Just saying. I’m sure small business owners will have a field day with this one, but I personally changed where I shop based on who allows dogs in. And I spend good money at those stores too.

    1. i agree. but i don’t think the health dept agrees with letting dogs into food establishments, sadly. esp. when most dogs are cleaner than babies! JK!

  3. If anything of this sort ever happened to Charlie, I would have to ask some of my friends here in Sicily to resolve the matter. Anyone caught doing such a dastardly act should be lynched, No pity, no BS, no exceptions.

  4. It makes me so sad when I see dogs tied up and shivering outside The Garden. And that article about the dognapping in Chelsea is terrifying! I’m a dog owner and I know it’s a pain to take two walks (one for the dog, one to get the groceries) but leaving your pup outside of a store is just not worth the risk.

  5. Do you own a dog? I disagree with you and do not believe I ever mistreated my dog. Being a single person, working full time, commuting and living in an apartment without a yard makes it much more efficient to take a dog along for errands. As the other commenters pointed out, most stores in NYC do not allow dogs inside (no matter what the size.) I loved my dog, trusted him to behave and trusted my neighbors to behave for the 13 years we lived in Greenpoint. How can you judge? How common are dog-nappings?

    1. Maria – I am not judging you or accusing you of mistreating your dog. Apologies if it came off that way. I have owned dogs in the past and have left them outside, but realize after seeing so many lost pet posters and read about dog theft in NYC, that it wasn’t a good idea at all. I even used to leave my BFs dog tied out of Royal, where I could see the dog, and admit that wasn’t a good idea, either. Even though I trust the dog (meh) and my neighbors, it takes one time, one instance of bad luck to lose the dog forever. My intention with this post is to say, “I know you love your dog and I know that 99% of the time it is safe, but is it worth that 1% of risk?” I do not know the statistics of dog theft in Greenpoint, but I wouldn’t count on statistics. Better to be safe 100% of the time, than sorry once.

      1. I still believe that you’re mistreating your dog by leaving it out alone in public. It’s great that you’ve been lucky, even greater that you can trust an entire population of a Brooklyn neighborhood, but it’s still not right and I think that every time I see it. Google “dog stolen brooklyn”; it’s real.

  6. Boo-Fucking-Hoo…
    Are you joking?
    As urban dwellers, our dogs are subjected to an inordinate amount of time inside our apartments and the daily trip to the grocery store is one more chance for our dog to get outside. Chastising a (most likely) wonderful pet owner for allowing their pet to accompany them to the store is ridiculous.
    I have a suggestion: with your abundance of time, maybe a neighborhood dog watch officer is in your future.

  7. I’m glad you addressed this, Jen. I have incredibly strong opinions about this too. This is not only stressful for the animal (they often look worried or anxious and I’ve seen instances where they cry or bark incessantly) but it’s dangerous for so many reasons – they can be stolen for bait/abuse (or stolen for any reason – to be a pet or sold or whatever), they can be tormented by passersby (again abused, beaten, hit by a car backing into a space), they can bite/attack a stranger (or the stranger can claim they did – and then you have a lawsuit on your hands) The list goes on. I don’t see how any responsible pet owner can justify doing this to their companion animal.

    Thank you for addressing this, Jen. I hope it opens the eyes of a few dog owners and they stop putting their animals at risk. I’ve linked your post to the Flickr set I created regarding this issue…

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