A first for DogLost !

police-officersDogLost sometimes get requests to help with missing persons, but a missing handbag was a first.

The Metropolitan Police had retrieved a handbag on a raid and the only identification was a slip of paper with a microchip number.

So what do they do ? They contact our investigations team who are able to give them the contact details of the owner through the microchip and one handbag is reunited !

Essential work on the server tonight

Essential work will be taking place on the DogLost servers tonight.

Between 2100 tonight Thursday 9 April and 0300 on Friday 10 April, our hosting company will be carrying out vital security software updates.

We have been informed that this should not last more than six hours.

DogLost apologises for any interruption of service, but it is beyond our control.

Keeping your dog safe over Easter

Basket-full-of-easter-eggsWhilst we’re busy with our guests and opening our Easter eggs, it’s easy for dogs to slip out unnoticed. Sometimes people don’t notice for a while and fido is long gone. So here’s a little advice to keep your dog safe this Easter:

  • Check that gates and fences are secure and that your dog can’t dig his way out: A bored dog will always think the grass is greener.
  • Keep exterior doors shut and locked at all times
  • Always know where your dog is – however busy you are – and ideally assign one person to look after them
  • Don’t leave your dog in the garden for long periods, tied up outside a shop or in the car whilst you visit friends and relatives. Thieves work all year round !

And don’t forget that chocolate is toxic to our four-legged friends, so absolutely no chocolate eggs or bunnies for them !

Easter is a busy time of year for DogLost with many dogs going missing. But we will be manning our free helpline all over the four-day holiday with our normal opening hours of 0700-2100.

Halo scanner reunites dog missing for six months

Lola reunited copyWhen Newdigate lad, Tom, found a little Jack Russell running down a Surrey road, the last thing he thought was that the dog had gone missing 35 miles away, six months ago.

When he couldn’t find an owner he took the little dog to Newdigate vets to be scanned. Client Services Administrator, Hannah, found out of date details on a normal scanner and turned to Halo to find the dog was registered with DogLost.

So surprised was owner Hector, and his daughter, Catalina when they got the call from DogLost that they drove to Surrey straight away. Said Hannah: “It was a really emotional reunion, you can’t imagine what it was like for them to see little Lola after so long.”

Despite searching extensively in Neasden, north west London, where Lola had gone missing last September – with DogLost’s help – they had given up on ever seeing her again and had bought another dog.

Lola was warm, fed and wearing a red collar, so had clearly spent her time in a home and not as a stray.

The photo shows Hector and Catalina being reunited with Lola

Police raids on Milton Keynes travellers’ site

Following raids on several travellers’ sites in Milton Keynes where Thames Valley Police have seized dogs, DogLost has issued the following statement:

“There is nothing at present to suggest anything other than dogs in poor condition were on the site, but we are liaising with Thames Valley Police to confirm the exact position. If there were stolen dogs there, we will let you know when the information becomes available to us.

Please do not inundate the police, RSPCA or Doglost with calls or emails relating to this as we have no further information at present.”

Police confirm dog bait story is a hoax

police-officersFollowing a story on social media about a dog being stolen in Swindon and later found dead in a plastic bag having been used as a bait dog, North Swindon Police have issued the following statement.

“Recently a very disturbing story has been circulating on Facebook about a dog being stolen from a garden in Swindon. The person who posted it appeared to claim that a white Staffordshire Bull Terrier was snatched, used as a bait by a dog fighting gang and then later found dead in a black plastic bag. They also claimed that Wiltshire Police were investigating.

We can confirm that no such case has been reported to Wiltshire Police, we have not been made aware of the theft of any staffy dogs and certainly have not found any dead animals in these circumstances. We firmly believe this is a hoax which is designed to gain the writer attention, and cause alarm and upset to dog owners and animal lovers.

These sort of stories do surface on social media on a fairly regular basis and it is always worth treating them with an healthy amount of scepticism. Please be assured that if there were any cases like this we would issue alerts to pet owners via this page and the media to enable them to take suitable precautions.”

A spokesperson for DogLost said: “It is very rare for a dog to be stolen for dog baiting purposes and we would urge people to treat these stories with extreme caution.”

Durham Police confirm markings story as unfounded

Following the national media interest in a story on markings outside houses allegedly targeted for theft in Darlington, Durham Constabulary have issued the following statement:

Darlington Neighbourhood Inspector Mick Button said: “While there haven’t been any thefts of dogs in the Darlington area that have been confirmed as linked to unusual markings on property, we are aware that messages about this topic do circulate on social media from time to time.

“Because we know that the theft of pets is an ongoing concern to local people, we issued a warning via our neighbourhood facebook page to encourage vigilance within the community. It was also posted on the page to remind residents to report any suspicious activity so that we are able to monitor trends.”

The story, which originated in Australia some years ago, regularly appears on social media in different parts of the country.

Said DogLost’s PR Adviser, Nik Oakley “This myth causes unnecessary alarm to dog owners and we were glad to be able to work with Durham Police to correct it.”

Despite the lack of truth in the story, DogLost reminds all dog owners to be vigilant against dog theft.

DogLost’s busiest year

Ellie 16890_a copyAs 2014 draws to a close, DogLost has had its busiest year ever. Nearly 18,500 dogs were registered lost or found with the country’s largest lost and found dog service.

Each month the website has 1.5 million page visits as the 82,000 members help dogs by postering or sharing across social media. And this year more than 14,000 people joined us to help reunite more dogs across the country.

Increases in dog theft and dog abandonment have led to the increase which has seen DogLost reunite nearly 7,500 of them. Many of the found dogs were subsequently rehomed by dog wardens after being seen on the website.

DogLost’s helpline remained busy throughout the year and has been extended to 14 hours a day to provide support to owners who have lost their dogs or for members of the public who have found dogs.

DogLost is also regularly asked to help with cats and horses, but this year also had to help fish and small furries !

SAMPA logo 1Partnered with the Kennel Club’s Petlog and the Halo scanner has helped more dogs get reunited, even though the incidents of theft are on the increase. One dog (pictured with two of our co-ordinators) was even reunited after five years !

Media partners, Dogs Today and Countryman’s Weekly, have provided invaluable support in publicising long-term missing and working dogs. And we have rarely been out of the news.

To fight the battle against dog theft and the lack of compulsory scanning by vets and transport authorities, DogLost joined forces earlier in the year with Vets Get Scanning, Dog Theft Action, Pet Theft Awareness and Dog Union to form the Stolen & Missing Pets Alliance to lobby for changes.

Although DogLost is run almost entirely by volunteers, it needs several thousand pounds a month to run the website and the helpline. And we’d like to thank everyone who has donated throughout the year. There are many dog clubs and volunteers who have done everything from baking cakes and doing skydives to running dog shows and sponsored walks. In particular we’d like to thank Working Clumber Spaniels UK, The Whippet Club and Marjorie Coote Animal Welfare Trust for their very generous support.

Little whippet home for Christmas

Doug 64852_aWe all love a Christmas reunited story – and let’s face it – there have been plenty in the last few days, but the one we loved the most was young Doug the Whippet.

Doug was stolen from outside his home in Hertfordshire in February, and an undercover investigator from DogLost soon came across a whippet they hoped was Doug. He was traced from location to location whilst Doug’s anxious owners were helped by DogLost’s local co-ordinator, Hazel.

Last week the little whippet was dumped 20 miles from where he was first stolen and taken to a place of safety, where he was scanned by the Halo scanner and indeed found to be Doug.

Louise, Doug’s owner told us: “We have been given the best Christmas present ever. Hazel has been an absolute diamond and I can’t thank her enough for all the work she has done and made me believe I should never give up hope.”

Said co-ordinator, Hazel: “It was a lengthy trail, but I hoped we would get there in the end. I’d really like to thank everyone who was involved – a great piece of DogLost teamwork.”