The stealing of a pet, such as a dog or cat, usually for sale to experimental laboratories or for ransom.

pet′nap′per n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(ˈpɛtnæpə) or


informal US a person who steals a pet for ransom or for resale
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
References in periodicals archive ?
(106.) See, e.g., Jamie Welham, Petnapper Returns Marion Dill's Cat Grabbed as Dog Fight Bait, Camden New Journal, Mar.
The kids tangle with the petnappers all over town, but all is nearly lost when Indiana suspects that Tom is a no-good double-crosser who's in cahoots with the bad guys.
We have petnappers who take pets and either pretend to have found them to return for high amounts back to the families - or use them to bait big dogs used for cruel dogfights.