A Russian energy company has announced a new way of forcing delinquent customers to pay up: confiscating their pets. Faced with arrears of $10 million, the Vladivostok firm Dalenergo said this week that people who hadnt paid their electric bills would receive visits from collection officials authorized to take any items of value, including Fido. Theyll get their pets back when they pay up. We will take their nearest and dearest, Dalenergo head Nikolai Tkachev threatened in a TV interview. Outraged locals compared the threat to stealing their children, but officials were unmoved. Technically, a dog is a thing, said the chief bailiff. So theoretically, the scheme can work.