Undated_Animal shelters and animal advocates in Comanche and Caddo Counties say in the past six months, the number of dogs being stolen has doubled.
Just last week, a homeowner in Cache reported a burglary and among the stolen goods was a 15-year-old Yorkie.
They say the thieves are targeting the smaller, more expensive breeds to sell them. The problem has gotten so bad, they're urging dog owners to take extra precautions to keep their pets safe.
Some of the thieves are hopping high fences on private property, drugging dogs and sometimes breaking into homes to get them.
"There was a couple that actually were caught on video camera going over a fence and stealing a dog out of a yard in Snyder," said Jean Whetstone, an animal shelter volunteer from Altus.
Whetstone says the dog managed to get away from the couple and ended up in an Altus animal shelter.
"And then they tried to reclaim the dog. The owner caught them. I don't really think anything happened, but owner got the dog back," Whetstone said.
Carol Skinner, with the "Rainbow Bridge Can Wait Animal Shelter" says some thieves will stop at nothing to steal your pet.
"They'll scope out your house to see what's your routine. When you're gone, then that's when they'll make their move. They'll throw meat sometimes over the fence, full of tranquilizers to get your dog to eat that. Then, once your dog is tranquillized, then they'll go in and get them," Skinner said.
She says animal activists in Caddo county have been on the alert for months.
"I've heard that just in our area that there's a white van, in the rural areas, driving around scoping out dogs that they can take," Skinner said.
Skinner says the dog thieves will go to great lengths to steal your pet. That's why it's so important to take a few simple steps to keep your pet safe from harm
"Lock your gates. If you can, try not to leave your dogs in the yard unattended at anytime. If they have to be out unattended, lock your gates. If you can, put up a security camera"
Skinner says people purchasing dogs need to take precautions as well, especially if you're buying from an unknown seller or on online sites such as Craigslist.
"Take that dog to a vet and have that dog scanned to make sure that the dog is not chipped in somebody else's name. If it is not chipped, and it is legitimate, then you need to have your animal chipped."
She says that way, if your dog is ever stolen or goes missing, the chip can be scanned and the vet can trace the dog back to the owners.