The lousy knit of dog swindlers: Blackmailers are suffering from pet owners


Always dress nicely. And do not tie in front of the shop. That could call thieves to the scene.


picture alliance / dpa

Berlin –

Only briefly Gabriele Schwebig ran her dachshund lady snippets while walking on Berlin Havelufer. But that brief moment was doomed to her. “Chips ran into the reeds to drink water and never reappeared,” says daughter Maxi Schwebig. Because her mother has been so damaged since she disappeared two months ago, she is now organizing a search for the seven-year-old Dachshund lady. In addition to the loss of the dog made their almost 70-year-old mother, especially blackmail life hard, says daughter Maxi.


Maxi Schwebig, daughter of the dog owner, holds a picture with the missing dachshund “Schnipsel” in the camera. Because her mother has been so damaged since she disappeared two months ago, she is now organizing a search for the seven-year-old Dachshund lady.



“Already four times we have been asked by different people to pay money, so we get back snippets,” says the student of veterinary medicine. For example, a letter said: “If you can not keep up with the conditions, your dog will soon be gone,” says Schwebig. 1000 € should pay the family accordingly. Another supposed finder said he had traveled to Austria with the dog. Only after transfer of a larger sum is a transport to Berlin possible.

Free riders also demand money

Schwebig and her parents assume that these are freeloaders who want to profit from the suffering of the family. “We think the dog was actually stolen,” says Schwebig. The family had search dogs used, the Schnipsels track could pursue to a parking lot, says the student. “Someone probably took snippets in his car.”

Attempts to extort money, also knows the Association Tasso, in which owners can register their animals and mark so that finders can determine the holder quickly. “The fraudsters search the Internet systematically search reports on missing animals in which private contact information, in particular telephone numbers of the holder are specified,” says spokeswoman Laura Simon. She has become known in recent years individual such cases.

Scammers call under false numbers

“They call the victims with fake phone numbers and pretend to call, inter alia, on behalf of veterinary clinics, animal shelters or lawyers, to which the animal had been brought. The owner can pick it up there for a fee, “Simon explains the scam. Now and then it is said that the animal is injured and that you have to reimburse the treatment costs before you get your animal back. Particularly striking is that the callers often demanded an upfront payment. “Even public tendering a finder’s reward can unfortunately help to attract fraudsters on the plan, so such an approach is not recommended,” says Simon.

Already extorted 1600 euros – Dachshund remains missing

Even the Schwebigs have a finder’s fee suspended – 500 euros. Overall, the family has already spent about 1600 euros – for the search dogs, newspaper ads and search labels, says the daughter. But they did not go into the scams.

“We filed a complaint with the police, but they did not give us any hope there,” she says. According to a spokesman for the Berlin police animal theft occurs again and again, but they did not represent a major problem. Extortion could be a motive. He did not name figures on thefts or blackmail attempts, since they would not be recorded centrally. Also nationwide there are no numbers. The Federal Criminal Police Office refers to the federal states.

German Animal Protection Association knows the scam of fraudsters

“You hear every now and then about dogs disappearing while they are tied up in front of supermarkets. Some are actually also stolen from homes or gardens, “says Tasso Griep of the German Animal Welfare Association. The association also offers – on the website Findefix – the registration of pets. Often, however, a theft is suspected and there are other reasons for the disappearance of the pet, says Griep.

Until the 1980s, the trade in stolen dogs and cats had flourished, says Laura Simon. At that time the animals had been sold to experimental laboratories. Since only bred animals may be used, this business has largely collapsed.

Never publish private contact information when searching

If you are looking for your animal, you should never give your own contact information publicly on online platforms such as Facebook, in general on the Internet, but also on search posters, Simon recommends. Your club offers – as well as Findefix – search posters. Finder can make contact with the clubs, who in turn informed the owners.

Pets are often missing: Alone at the club Tasso 2018 about 107 000 runaway animals were recorded, including about 38 500 dogs. In total, according to Simon, almost 88 000 found animals were mediated, although some had escaped even before 2018.

Search for dachshund lady snippet continues

The Chamber of Veterinary Medicine gives advice on what to do in case of loss and also how to prevent it: “Freewheeling in an unfenced area should only be granted to a dog if he has received basic education and has established a bond with his owner,” said the Chamber , “Schnipsel was not leashed, because she had absolutely no hunting drive and you could rely on them one hundred percent, which has simply proved the years of relationship with this dog,” says Max Schwebig.

The Berlin family continues to search for snippets. Her mother had not gotten over the loss yet. “She has already lost ten pounds, can barely eat and sleep. Schnipsel was like a second child to her. “(Dpa)