Why Did Dog Thefts Jump 32% Last Year?

From the ASPCA, we received this piece of alarming news:

Pet theft is on the rise. The American Kennel Club, which has been tracking pet thefts since 2007, reported a 32% increase in dog thefts last year.

While some animals are snatched from their yards or during home invasions, opportunistic thieves most commonly steal dogs left in cars or tied up outside stores. In the ASPCA's hometown of New York City, dognappings skyrocket every summer as pet parents take advantage of nice weather to combine dog-walking with errand-running.

I am confused and disturbed. Is this part of an alien invasion? A false statistic created by the pet chip lobby?

Either way, keep your furry pals safe! The ASPCA has some tips on how to do this.