Indeed, dognappings appear to be on the rise, according to the American Kennel Club, and of course can happen anywhere. But leaving your animal in a low visibility area for any time is just asking for trouble.
"Avoid dark or not heavily trafficked areas and, if possible, keep watch on your dog from inside the store," adds Rob Halpin of MSPCA-Angell.
Make it quick
Needless to say, every second your dog spends alone on the curb increases the odds of something bad happening.
And if it's hot outside, you might want to reconsider completely. If you must leave them, then do so in the shade and with water for only a few minutes, Halpin says.