Lost and Found on Channel 4

Series_1_Episode_1_Lost and Found_UK logo copyStarting on 27 November at 3pm, Channel 4 is shining a light on the work of Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, following their efforts to find new homes for unwanted and abandoned dogs. The series features four of their rescue centres across the country and includes multiple stories of different dogs in a variety of difficulties, including blind and deaf dogs, pregnant pooches and puppies illegally imported onto our shores.

The series also calls upon the skills and resources of DogLost, a national lost and found service, which relies upon its website and dedicated volunteers to search for missing dogs. The series tracks real-time stories of dogs that have been lost, accompanying their owners’ efforts to find them and the volunteers who help them on their search. The methods and results are astounding but the first 48 hours when a dog goes missing are often make or break.

It’s presented by dog lovers Simon O’Brien (Find It, Fix It, Flog It) and Lucy Alexander (Best of Both Worlds). Starring in the series will be:

Crème the Labrador has been missing for four days and, despite regular sightings, still hasn’t been found by her distraught owners. A baited cage is their last hope of catching their panic-stricken, disorientated dog but will it work?
Lucky the crossbreed. Arriving as a stray will this pooch line up a heavenly new home following a visit from nun Sister Shelia? Except she hasn’t told the rest of the convent!
Heavily pregnant Pug cross  who introduces five new tiny additions shortly after crossing the threshold in Manchester, what does their future hold?
Cookie the Staffordshire bull terrier disappeared when he was let out before bed. His owner Remi is patrolling the local area with her toddler and launching a social media campaign to try and track her beloved dog down but after days without sleeping, will a new lead bring Cookie home?
Overlooked Saffiki the American Bulldog. Will this bouncy 30kg pooch – who thinks she’s a lap dog – find owners with a big enough heart, and home, for her?
Crossbreed Ida who arrives in Basildon at risk of amputation. Will a course of hydrotherapy strengthen her muscles and prevent her losing her leg?
We also follow the journey of mini Dachshunds Teeny and Tiny who’ve been seized by Customs officers at Dover as they recover from a terrible ordeal and hope to find new loving and safe homes.

Jayne Hayes, Founder of DogLost said: “Hundreds of dogs go missing every week and cases are rarely the same. Some go missing from home, on walks or even escape cars on their way to a new life. Owners are frantic and dogs can quickly return to the wild. Our website creates a page and poster for every dog and automatically alerts local members and organisations, and our social media outlets. Our trained volunteers offer advice and support and organise searches to hopefully reunite the dogs with their owners.”

Adrian Burder, Chief Executive of Dogs Trust said: “Lost and Found shows the variety of dogs that Dogs Trust cares for on a daily basis. No two days are the same, and likewise no two dogs are the same, they each come with their own story. For those that are found as a stray we need to spend a bit more time working out their background and what they want in a new family, but once the team do and they’re able to match the dog with a new owner, the joy is immeasurable. We hope that the show will demonstrate that Dogs Trust has shapes and sizes of dog to fit any home and hope that people will think rescue when considering their next four legged addition to the family.”

The twenty-part show is produced by Hat Trick Productions, the production company behind Rich House Poor House, Have I Got News For You, Outnumbered and Dinner Date, and will air on Channel 4 at 3pm, (every week day) up to Christmas so set your boxes! It will also be available on Channel 4 +1 and All4.

Combining tear-jerking poignancy with heart-warming tales of human and animal endeavour, Lost and Found promises to be compelling viewing for anyone who’s ever loved (but not necessarily lost) a dog – or anyone who’s ever walked past a missing dog poster, wishing they could do something to help, and wondered whether there was a happy ending.

DogLost prepares for the busy firework season

Fireworks graphic FBDogLost is preparing itself for a busy period as the fireworks season is in full swing with Diwali and Guy Fawkes.

The organisation deals with hundreds of extra lost dogs at this time of year and is urging owners to follow its advice and keep dogs safe.

Jayne Hayes, founder of DogLost, explained: “This is one of the worst times of year for us as we receive so many calls from owners whose dogs have bolted due to the fireworks.

“Some are lucky and find their dogs hidden in fields or barns days later. For others, it is tragic as the dogs bolt straight into the paths of traffic or trains and are killed instantly. Then we have the mystery cases, the pets that fled due to a firework bang and have never been seen since.

“What makes the situation worse is that it used to be just one night of fireworks, on Bonfire Night itself. Now, people are letting off rockets and explosions indiscriminately for weeks before and after 5 November.

“This means pet owners have to be smart and follow advice to prevent them from losing their dogs this year. Our Social Media Team are busy getting the message out far and wide.”

Owners are urged to:

  • Never take your dog for a walk after dark – even if you think he isn’t nervous
  • If you have to take him out in the back garden use a lead – dogs often leap fences out of fear
  • Create a safe and secure ‘bunker’ in a familiar place
  • Invest in some Adaptil or a Thunder shirt if your dog is particularly nervous

Jayne concluded: “Many people see this time of year as a celebration, but, for others, it is an upsetting period.

“People cannot be complacent. They must follow advice and keep their dogs safe and secure at all times. If they are not in the house, then they should always be on a lead.

“Microchips, collars and tags and tattoos are a must for all dogs, so you have a chance of your dog being traced back to you should they flee. There is still a perception that dogs run off, are caught by the local dog warden and handed back to their owners.

“This is simply not the case anymore. Dogs, especially those running scared, can cover a lot of ground and could travel into another county. Sadly, we also have people who may well pick up a stray dog and keep it for themselves or move it to another a part of the country.

DogLost launches website appeal

Crowd funding 1_Layout 1DogLost has launched a crowdfunding appeal to fund improvements to its website.

As the organisation focuses on the dogs, it rarely talks about funding.  The website is a valuable national database used by DogLost volunteers, owners, dog wardens, rescues and the police. It holds data on more than 100,000 of the nation’s dogs, and the more it assists, the bigger the database and the cost to run it.

Said Founder, Jayne Hayes: “For the last 13 years our nationwide team of volunteers and helpers have helped more than 80,000 owners and reunited some 60,000 dogs.  They offer advice to distraught owners, search high and low and cross reference endless information. They help register on the website and use it, and our extensive social media network to get the message out”

“Despite our valuable work, we get no funding and we have to pay for the website on a commercial basis. This means we pay for the ever-increasing cost of hosting a growing database, the maintenance of the website and instigating any new initiatives.  Just keeping the website ticking over each month costs many, many hundreds of pounds.”

DogLost helpers have great ideas to improve the website and implementing them would provide an even better service to everyone. But it urgently needs the funds to do that.

DogLost’s success has increased the sheer cost of running the website, but it is absolutely committed to keeping the website and the entire service free to use.

Continued Jayne: If supporters – and the owners we have helped – could spare a few pounds to help us, we will be able to help more owners of missing and stolen dogs.”

To donate please go to https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/Doglost

MPs support Dog Theft Awareness Day

Gavin WilliamsonSome 50 MPs supported Dog Theft Awareness Day at Westminster.

Organised by the Stolen and Missing Pets Alliance – of which DogLost is a leading member – and hosted by Dartford MP, Gareth Johnson, the day highlighted the growing crime of dog theft and the devastating impact on owners.

Gareth Johnson opened the day by saying: “Dog theft is a particularly nasty crime which causes great distress to the owners and to the dogs themselves.

“It is a rising issue in this country with hundreds of dogs being stolen every year. Too often dogs that are stolen are simply reported as missing and very few are ever returned to their owners.”

The day gave MPs the opportunity to hear about the issues from SAMPA members DogLost, Vets Get Scanning, Pet Theft Awareness and Dog Union as well as victims of dog theft, the police and dog wardens.

MPs were then asked to pledge their support for tougher sentencing for dog theft; reclassification of dog theft crime and compulsory scanning of microchips.

Paul O’Grady and actor Peter Egan sent messages of support, and Talk Radio broadcaster Paul Ross told everyone: “Dog theft is a cruel and callous crime that tears the heart out of families – a vile act perpetrated by evil people. Time to make the punishment fit the crime.”

PoliceTV vet, Marc Abraham said: “Dog theft is a growing crime in this country, with all dogs of any size and breed being vulnerable; basically no dog is safe. In my opinion as a profession vets have a duty to educate dog owners of the dangers of dog theft, how best to protect their four legged friends, as well as scanning and checking microchips to help reunite stolen, stray, and missing dogs, as well as dogs that have been sold on.”

Nik Oakley for DogLost and SAMPA said: “The crime is largely unpunished as few cases reach court, and because dogs are regarded as goods any sentence reflects the value of the dog not the impact on the victim who has lost a member of their family.

“Police statistics vary across the country and are simply the tip of the iceberg. They show how a force records dog theft rather than the size of the problem. Neither do they record the crime of ‘theft by finding’ where a dog goes missing and is picked up and sold on or kept as a pet or for breeding.

“Until scanning of microchips is compulsory by vets, rescues and other authorities there can be no guarantee that a dog will be reunited with its rightful owner.”

Graham Evans MPVets Get Scanning’s Debbie Matthews – and a key member of SAMPA – said: “Dog theft is a crime that affects many and scares all dog owners, many of who contacted MPs asking them to attend.  We had  a steady stream of MPs, many of who are dog owners themselves so they totally understood the issues and that we need better deterrents in place to stop dog thieves and compulsory scanning of microchips to help reunite dog and owner.”


Top: Marc the Vet with Government Chief Whip, Rt Hon Gavin Williamson MP. Middle: Jane Frankland, Police Liaison Co-ordinator & Wayne May, Emergencies Co-ordinator DogLost (centre) with police officers from the Met, Kent & Thames Valley. Bottom: Debbie Matthews with Cheshire MP Graham Evans.

Dog Theft Awareness Day

DTAD SM graphicWith dog theft rising by 24% over the last three years, DogLost members are being urged to ensure their MPs attend the Dog Theft Awareness Day in Westminster in March.

Hosted by Dartford MP, Gareth Johnson, The Stolen and Missing Pets Alliance – of which DogLost is a part – aims to bring the issue to the forefront of MPs across the country.

Gareth has already raised the issue in Parliament and is keen to support the Alliance’s work to encourage tougher sentences for those involved in the crime.

MPs will be invited to drop in to the day, which will include presentations by celebrity vet, Marc Abraham and police officers leading the offensive against the surging crime.

Dog owners are being asked to contact their MP and urge them to attend the day, which is on Tuesday 14 March. Anyone who has been a victim of the crime should send a photo of their dog and get their MP to bring it along.

MPs are also being asked to sign the Alliance’s pledge to combat the heartless crime and back tougher sentencing and compulsory scanning of microchips.

Said an Alliance spokesperson: “The crime is largely unpunished as few cases reach court, and because dogs are regarded as goods any sentence reflects the value of the dog not the impact on the victim who has lost a member of their family.”

Continued an Alliance spokesperson: “Police statistics very across the country and are simply the tip of the iceberg. They show how a force records dog theft rather than the size of the problem. Neither do they record the crime of ‘Theft by finding’ where a dog goes missing and is picked up and sold on or kept as a pet or for breeding.”

The four organisations comprising SAMPA are DogLost – the country’s largest reunification organisation; Pet Theft Awareness; the Dog Union and Vets Get Scanning – run by Sir Bruce Forsyth’s daughter, all of whom have a common interest in pet theft.

Stolen more than two years ago but reunited for Christmas

puggy-1-copy“What would your best ever Christmas present be ?” said DogLost’s Jayne Hayes as she called the owner of a Pug stolen more than two years ago.

Owner Maurice Loscombe couldn’t quite believe his ears when he heard that his beloved Pug, Puggy, had been scanned at a vets 45 miles away. “Oh, my God” he screamed “I can’t believe it, I’m going to cry.”

The first long term reunited of the Christmas season was the result of Wild Boar Vets in Worksop scanning Puggy when he came in with an unsuspecting owner. Using the DogLost Halo scanner Puggy’s chip flagged up the need to contact DogLost.

Said Sharon Clayton: “This is the first time this has happened to us and it demonstrates the importance of scanning. We are so happy for the owner, and Puggy was so pleased to see him.”

Puggy was originally stolen in a house burglary in Beeston, Leeds in March 2014 and sold on twice. Said Jayne Hayes: There are two victims here, Maurice and the unsuspecting family who bought Puggy seven weeks ago.”

Gundog theft initiative

day1-stats2016bThis week highlights the plight of gundogs who are increasingly being stolen for breeding or the black market

Gundog Theft Awareness week seeks to raise awareness of the number of gun dogs stolen every year. The breeds most commonly stolen are Labradors, Springer Spaniels and Cocker Spaniels and DogLost statistics reveal that in 2015, 356 Labradors, 276 Cocker Spaniels and 168 Springer Spaniels went missing – mainly stolen.

Run by the Pet Theft Awareness team, they will be offering advice to owners on how to keep dogs safe, what to do if they become a victim and buying and selling gundog puppies.

The awareness campaign is being run through social media and DogLost and its partners in the Stolen and Missing Pets Alliance are supporting the initiative.



Dramatic rescue at Beachy Head

bonnie-rescue-2A field spaniel who went missing on Sunday from near the Bomber Command Memorial on Beachy Head on the south coast, was rescued dramatically yesterday by coastguards and fire and rescue.

The spaniel Bonnie was feared to have fallen from Beachy Head when she couldn’t been found by DogLost or the owner’s family – one of whom thought she heard her bark near the cliffs.

Eastbourne and Birling Gap Coastguard were assisted by Newhaven together with East Sussex Fire & Rescue. Teams scaled down the cliffs and spent two hours trying to locate Bonnie and when the owner’s son Andrew arrived and called her name, her faint barking identified the spot.

bonnie-rescue-1Bonnie was found 25ft deep down the cliff face in a crevice just 18 inches wide. It was a delicate and chancy operation to get her out. A member of the Fire & Rescue rescued her and both were hauled to the top by Coastguards using rope rescue equipment where she was reunited with her owners.

DogLost’s East Sussex Area Co-ordinator, Gina Clarke was on hand to support the family and she said “It was touch and go as to whether the crew would be able to get her out. We are so grateful to the crews for the three hours they spent on the rescue and I am pleased to report that Bonnie was unscathed.”

The touching moment when Bonnie was reunited was captured by Gina, along with a crew from Hat Trick Productions who has been following Bonnie’s case.


DogLost condemns ‘dognapping’ storyline in Emmerdale

emmerdaleA dognapping story line in ITV soap Emmerdale  has enraged the country’s animal lovers as they have taken to social media to vent their anger.

In last night’s episode, characters Charity Dingle and Ross Barton plot to steal a Samoyed by luring it away with food.

Whilst DogLost would encourage raising the awareness of dog theft through the serious and sensitive inclusion of the subject in a drama, it cannot condone its trivialisation in a current story line in Emmerdale.

Thousands of dogs a year are stolen in the UK and DogLost works hard to support owners subjected to this crime. We work closely with police forces up and down the country and are campaigning with the Stolen and Missing Pets Alliance for tougher sentencing.

DogLost has made representations to the executive producer at Emmerdale asking for the story line to be amended with an appropriate outcome.

DogLost Co-ordinator walks for charity

sandie-megan-ppuBuckinghamshire Co-ordinator, Sandie Robertson and her  Old English Sheepdog, Megan, have been walking to raise money for Pedigree Paws Unite.

The 160 mile walk – with all 216 recognised dog breeds in the UK – is in aid of dog and children’s charities across the country. It’s organised by the Peek a Boo Trust, set up by the owners of DogLost’s celebrity supporter Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen, Jilly, after she won Crufts three years ago.

ped-paws-uniteDogLost benefited from their first sponsored walk, Jilly’s Jolly Jaunt, and is encouraging members to sponsor Sandie and Megan after completing their leg in Cambridgeshire.

The walk continues all week at locations around the UK

You can donate through Virgin Money Giving and follow the walk on their Facebook page.