Dog Theft Awareness Day runs from the 14th to the 21st March and is now in its sixth year. With pet theft on the rise it’s a salutary reminder to all pet owners that no one is exempt from this vile crime.
Every week more than 60 dogs are stolen in England and Wales and that is considered by DogLost, the largest reunification organisation in the country, to be only the tip of the iceberg.
With the law as it stands, there is no deterrent to reduce pet theft, which has increased by nearly 24% over the past three years, bringing misery to every pet pawrent, as well as causing stress to the animals involved.
This year Pet Theft Awareness, as a member of the Stolen & Missing Pets Alliance, is supporting an e-petition created by Dr Daniel Allen, a Research Fellow in Human Geography and tutor at Keele University.
On researching the problem, Dr Allen was appalled by the increase of dog theft, a lack of accurate police statistics and the need for pet theft to be reclassified to reflect the crime.
Richard Jordan, co founder of Pet Theft Awareness said, “Up until the introduction of the Theft Act 1968, stealing a dog was a crime in itself but under this act it is now classified as a personal item. It is wrong that a sentient being has no greater value than a mobile phone or flower vase when the act classifies the theft of a vehicle or bicycle in their own right.”
Richard went on to say, “I am delighted that the National Animal Welfare Trust (NAWT) has become the first animal welfare charity to support the petition and l hope their involvement will encourage others to support it.”
Gareth Johnson, MP for Dartford and long time supporter of SAMPA said, “This petition, which was launched last month asking for pet theft to be reclassified as a crime in its own right, already has had more than 35,000 signatures. This illustrates the strength of feeling on the issue. Dog theft is a cruel crime and whilst it continues, I will do all I can to highlight it and call for tougher sentences for the perpetrators.”
Pet Theft Awareness during this week will not only be encouraging people to sign the petition but will also point out the need to be vigilant at all times in safeguarding their pets. No pet owner is beyond the reach of a thief.
THEFT PREVENTION TIPS:-
Don’t leave your dog outside a shop or supermarket
Don’t let your dog out of sight during exercise
Don’t leave a dog unattended in a vehicle
Make sure your garden, house and outside kennels are secure
Be careful who can see your pet’s photos on social media
IN CASE OF EMERGENCY always have the following information in your mobile phone:-
A clear photo of your pet
Your dog’s microchip number
Local Animal Warden’s telephone number
Your dog’s microchip database telephone number
and contact DogLost (01633 673859 or www.doglost.co.uk)
Woofs Guest Barker from Pets Alliance
Further information and contact details
Debbie Matthew, Vets Get Scanning
Chair of SAMPA and Press Officer 07774 626033
Dr Daniel Allen, Keele University Tel: 07771 671987 firstname.lastname@example.org
SAMPA comprises of: DogLost, Vets Get Scanning, Pet Theft Awareness & Dog Union
UK Petition: Reclassify the theft of a pet to a specific crime in its own right. Can you help us reach 100,000 signatures by 8th August 2018:- https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/212174
Write to your MP: http://www.stolenandmissingpetsalliance.co.uk/write-to-your-mp/
Twitter: @SAMPAuk_ Facebook: www.facebook.com/sampauk