My pet was stolen: what should I do?

What are the first reflexes to report animal theft in France? Where should I report theft? My pet has been stolen, what should I do? Our answers.

Has your pet disappeared and you suspect theft? In the case of fraudulent removal of your cat or dog or any other pet, you must act quickly and gradually.

Police or gendarmerie services and I-Cad employees are the first to notify in the event of an incident animal theft. But be careful, not everyone can do it. Only the owner is allowed.

Is animal theft punishable by the Criminal Code?

Theft is defined by the Criminal Code as fraudulently taking someone else’s property. (Article 311-1 of the Criminal Code). Therefore, animal theft is included.

How can I report a stolen animal?

Here’s what to do if your pet has been stolen. File a complaint with the police or gendarmerie. A stolen animal must always be reported to the police or gendarmerie services you are connected to.

You can file a complaint by physically going to the police station. You can also file a complaint online in advance. In order for this to be registered as a complaint, you must sign the application at the police station.

The procedure to follow after reporting your dog or cat to the police depends on whether or not your animal has been identified.

Notify I-Cad

The animal identification service, I-Cad, should be alerted to the theft of your pet.

Your stolen animal is identified by I-Cad services

If your pet has previously been identified and registered with I-Cad services in the National Domestic Carnivore Identification File, you must report the theft to them.

This declaration is made either:

  • By email to

The subject of your email should be the title Theft report. Your message should contain the following:

  1. Animal identification number. This is on the registration card provided after identification by I-Cad. If this document is lost, your veterinarian can inform you.
  2. His race.
  3. Your full contact details.
  4. A copy of the complaint made to the police or gendarmerie services.
  • By mail, to the postal address: I-CAD, 112 – 114 avenue Gabriel Péri, 94246 L’Haÿ-les-Roses Cedex.

Upon receipt of the complete file, I-Cad will record the animal as stolen in the National Identification File for Domestic Carnivores.

Your stolen animal has not been identified with I-Cad services

If your pet has never been identified with its services, I-Cad will not be able to do anything for you.

Other websites allow you to display wanted ads after your pet is stolen. For example, you can post an ad on Pet Alert or Chien-Perdu.

Ask the animal experts

“Filalapat” application allows you to find missing animals. Adobe Stock

Another reflex to adopt after your pet is stolen is to call a professional to ask if they have seen it.

You can contact vets, shelters or animal associations like a nearby SPA.

Who can report animal theft?

Only the victim of animal theft or his legal representatives can file a complaint with the police.

With I-Cad or I-Fap, only the animal owner registered in the national I-Cad or I-Fap file is authorized to file a theft declaration. No other person’s application will be considered.

What are the penalties for animal theft?

Theft is punishable by 3 years in prison and a fine of 45,000 euros. (Article 311-3 of the Criminal Code).

Theft with one or more aggravated circumstances is punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a fine of €75,000. (article 311-4 and below).

This happens, for example, when the theft is intended to fuel illegal animal trade, trafficking, or is accompanied by violence.

How to protect yourself from animal theft?

Pet identification can prevent theft. Adobe Stock

In order to best protect themselves from animal theft, owners must comply with the identification obligation stipulated in L212-10 Village Code and the article on sea fishing.

It consists of identifying the animal, regardless of age, with an electronic chip or tattoo in the national carnivore identification file (I-Cad).

Identification is carried out by the owner selling the animal at his expense. It is important to identify your pet in case of theft. This act allows the search and identification of a cat or dog. It then allows you to contact the owner when found.

The result

Here are the reflexes to adopt if your dog or cat is stolen:

  • File a complaint with the nearest police or gendarmerie station.
  • Report the animal theft to I-Cad or I-Fap.
  • Meet animal experts near you.

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