Fear of fines leaves dogs unclaimed

dogscanned01There is evidence that since the introduction of compulsory microchipping at the beginning of the month, more dogs are being left unclaimed.

DogLost coordinators believe that the rise in unclaimed dogs is due to the fear of being fined £500 for not having a dog chipped.

A DogLost spokesperson said: “At this very early stage we think it is highly unlikely that an owner would be fined if they claimed their dog. Dog Wardens will advise owners to get their dog chipped within 21 days and they may subsequently check that.”

“We would urge all owners to claim their dogs and not be in fear of reprisals”

Microchipping highlighted on GMTV

Debbie Pup AidAs compulsory microchipping is just two days away, Stolen and Missing Pets Alliance colleague, Debbie Matthews, from Vets Get Scanning will be on ITV’s Good Morning Britain tomorrow at 7.40am.

Debbie will be talking about the importance of chipping pets and why the scheme will never benefit missing pets until compulsory scanning by vets, rescues and local authorities becomes law.

Vets Get Scanning campaigns tirelessly for compulsory scanning with their ‪#‎ScanMe‬ campaign, and they have been in some encouraging discussions with the British Veterinary Association.

DogLost celebrity supporter appears on Crufts show

Crufts Jill 2DogLost celebrity supporter and former Crufts winner, Jilly, AKA Soletrader Peek a Boo, made a surprise visit to the Crufts final sofa with owner Gavin Robertson and rising star, Annie Mac.

Interviewed by Claire Balding, Gavin Robertson highlighted the contribution of Jilly’s Peek a Boo Trust which has raised some £100,000 for both children’s and dogs’ charities in the last three years.

Some of the money raised benefited DogLost with Jilly’s Jolly Jaunt raising nearly £50,000 with a sponsored walk from Crufts to Great Ormond Street Hospital

The interview accompanied a film showing how a Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen puppy has benefited the children at a junior school on Merseyside.

DogLost congratulated in House of Commons

HOC imagesDogLost has just been congratulated on its work in the area of dog theft by Gareth Johnson MP in the debate called by him in the House of Commons this evening.

Johnson called for tougher sentencing despite the Sentencing Council ignoring the Stolen and Missing Pets Alliance’s representations last year.

Justice Minister, Dominic Raab, for the government, dismissed the calls for separate legislation claiming that both the Theft Act and Animal Welfare Act were sufficient.

A spokesperson for the Stolen and Missing Pets Alliance said that the campaigning would continue.

DogLost celebrates its first year with Essex Police

doglost_web1DogLost celebrated its first year working in partnership with Essex Police with a slice of cake.

The formal partnership has seen some successful results, not least the reuniting of cancer-detecting Monty the English Bull Terrier following a tip-off to DogLost.

The little celebration followed a meeting between the two organisations and local.

The photo shows DogLost’s Essex Co-ordinator, Kim Herbert and Police Co-ordinator Jane Franklin, along with Basildon Dog Warden Sarah Moran, Essex Watch Liaison officer Kevin Blake, Crime Prevention and Partnership Sergeant Tina Pavelin, Jacky Donaghy, Dogs Trust and Essex Watch Liaison Officer Brenda Cross.

DogLost works with a number of police forces around the country with new partnerships expected in the coming months.

DogLost launches new app for dog owners

Dummy appThe DogLost app is the fab new way of finding your lost or stolen dog. It allows you to share information on your missing pet with other DogLost users and via social media.

It links you to the 90,000 – and rising – users on the DogLost website which has assisted over 80,000 lost and found dogs in the past 12 years and helped reunite 7,000 last year.

The DogLost app is a social network which works in conjunction with the DogLost website and its volunteers, which engages with people in their area to help in the speedy return of a dog that has been lost, stolen or found. However, you will need to register on the app.

The app makes it easier to find a lost dog: His or her profile will be sent to other app users within a 20 mile radius of your location and can resend as many times as you like in the same or new location and share on Facebook and Twitter.

Information on your dog can be stored in your new account, so if he goes missing you can share this news instantly – reducing the time it takes to get out information about your lost or stolen dog and increasing the likelihood of being reunited.

The app is being launched ahead of DogLost’s new website which will go online at the end of the month.

Download the app now to join the DogLost community to help reunite thousands of missing dogs with their owners every year.

iPhone app          Android app

Government turns its back on compulsory scanning of microchips

vet-scan-petitionThe government has turned its back on the nation’s pet owners by refusing to make the scanning of microchips compulsory.

In response to the #ScanMe petition being run by Vets Get Scanning, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has said that “The Government does not consider it necessary therefore to require everyone who comes into contact with a dog to scan it in order to …………. establish whether the dog is lost or stolen.”

The astonishing statement comes on the back of DogLost’s figures for 2015 which show that some 17,000 lost and found dogs were registered with the organisation last year. Some of the 7,000 that were reunited were done so because their microchips had been scanned.

Said DogLost’s spokesperson, Nik Oakley “It is incomprehensible that the government should introduce compulsory microchips and not compel all vets, local authorities, rescues and government agencies to scan a stray animal.”

In the statement, Defra claims that compulsory chipping will mean that stray animals will be reunited with their owners much quicker, failing to understand that this can only happen if an animal is scanned.

Continued Nik Oakley ‘Defra continually refuse to listen or debate the issue, preferring to stick their heads in the sand and pretend that dog theft is not a serious growing problem or that somehow an animal will miraculously find its way home.”

“It is not good enough for Defra to rely on the few good vets who scan as a matter of course. It is no wonder that we have thousands of dogs who have never been reunited or who are reunited years and years later when they are finally scanned.”

It is a long-held belief by many animal charities that compulsory microchips are not being introduced in order to reunite missing pets but in response to controlling dangerous dogs.

DogLost will continue to campaign for compulsory scanning with its partners in the Stolen and Missing Pets Alliance. The #ScanMe petition runs until 21 January.

The Government’s full response can be read here.

DogLost reunites nearly 7000 dogs in 2015

RetrieverDogLost helped to reunite nearly 7,000 dogs in 2015 – up 400 from the previous year.

The most ever achieved in its 12-year history, the stories range from the dramatic to the more ordinary.

Some involved joint operations with police forces where DogLost investigators and volunteers located dogs and the police raided premises and seized the dogs. The story that received the most coverage was Monty the English Bull Terrier who had sniffed out his owner’s cancer but was stolen whilst on a walk.

Sometimes our co-ordinators are called out to railway lines and motorways where dogs have been spotted. Other dramatic stories have  involved DogLost working with coastguards to retrieve dogs in danger along the coastline. One little Border Collie puppy had to be rescued from a ledge after the Cornwall team heard his wimpering.

Some stories involved vast periods of time when owners had given up all hope of ever seeing their dog again. One eagle-eyed helper spotted a Springer Spaniel on the found pages and believed it to be Bluebell who was stolen three years earlier. Imagine the owner’s amazement when it turned out to be her.

But most of DogLost’s stories are much more mundane: They involve advice, support and legwork from our volunteers and helpers. Whether it’s advice on searching, laying trails or traps or getting the local media to take an interest, it’s all in a day’s work for DogLost.

And the greatest reward for our volunteer network is the tears of joy from owners when they are reunited with their precious dogs.

2016 will be an even bigger year for DogLost and if you think you have the skills to help on the ground or online, then please contact us at admin@doglost.co.uk with volunteering in the subject line.

Keeping your dog safe over the festive season

DL Xmas 2015 final copyWhilst we’re busy greeting guests and keeping everyone entertained and fed, it’s easy for dogs to slip out unnoticed – sometimes for hours before you realise. So here is a little advice to keep your four-legged family member safe:

 

  • 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 Christmas.
  • And don’t forget that chocolate, grapes, raisins, onions and many nuts are poisonous to dogs, so absolutely no Christmas cake or pudding!

Christmas is one of the busiest times for DogLost with so many dogs going missing. But we will be manning our free helpline all over the Christmas period with our normal opening hours of 0700-2100.

Home in time for Christmas

Ask the owner of any missing dog the time of year that they dread most and they’ll say Christmas. That stocking full of presents that won’t get opened or that empty food dish that won’t be filled.

So DogLost is pleased to bring some Christmas cheer with more than 150 dogs reunited in the week leading up to Christmas.

Here are just a few of our favourite heart-warming stories.

Firstly there was Bonnie the Akita cross puppy who was snatched from her garden in West Yorkshire wearing her Christmas reindeer jumper. She was spotted being sold on Facebook two weeks later by the owner’s sharp-eyed father.

Then there was Alfie the young Afghan who had just moved to Blackpool and escaped not Home for Xmasknowing the area. Seen around town, the owner and helpers searched a caravan site and an adjacent compound for the shy but friendly dog. Alfie was finally tackled by a member of the public the following day and returned home.

And on the subject of runners, a racing greyhound called Sizzling Girl escaped from the Sheffield Owlerton stadium still wearing her racing jacket. Spotted in the woods near the stadium Gina – her pet name – managed to evade capture for a whole week despite the search parties and traps.

Meanwhile in leafy Surrey, Maximus the Cocker Spaniel puppy was snatched in a break-in. Leaving the other working dogs behind, the Police believed he was stolen to order. The car involved was later pursued by the police and when it crashed little Maximus had already been moved on. The following day the puppy was handed in to a local kennels and reunited with its very happy owner.

Little Reggie the Chihuahua was found 200 miles away from his north London home some four months after he went missing. Convinced that he was stolen, owners Lucy and Gerry were elated to get a call from Merseyside Dogs Home where Reggie had been handed in and scanned.

Another Chihuahua called Charlie was reunited with our Halo scanner after being missing for more than five months from Washington, Tyne and Wear. Quite out of the blue our admin team received a call that Charlie had been scanned at a vets. What a wonderful Christmas present for the owners !

For more seasonal tales, go to our reunited pages: