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.”

 

DogLost presentation to Parliamentary group

IMG-20141202-01158DogLost was given the opportunity to address the Associate Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare this evening.

The organisation was able to explain its work and demonstrate the challenges it faces, from a lack of scanning and variable dog warden services to dog theft and limited police resources.

The Group – an all party committee of MPs chaired by Neil Parish MP – meets about six times a year and has associate members from organisations across the sphere of animal welfare.

Speaking for the organisation, spokesperson Nik Oakley said: The rapid growth in dog theft is an urgent issue that politicians need to address and we welcomed their interest in the problem.

Although time was limited, DogLost was able to explain why setting up the the Stolen and Missing Pets Alliance is so important. Trying to push forward reforms on scanning and pet theft, Vets Get Scanning. Dog Union, Dog Theft Action and Pet Theft Awareness were also there.

This evening’s meeting was devoted entirely to dog welfare and the recently set-up dog subgroup, chaired by Robert Flellio MP, presented its strategy concentrating on responsible ownership and breeding.

Photo shows Alliance members Richard Jordan from Pet Theft Awareness and Debbie Matthews from Vets Get Scanning at the House of Commons

 

Christmas gift for your doggie friends

Out & AboutIf you or your friends and family yearn for holidays where your dogs will be as welcome as you around the UK and further afield, then Dog Friendly magazine has a great deal to offer you.

Packed full of fantastic ideas for holidays for you and your dogs in beautiful parts of the country, readers review their accommodation – from a hotel or inn through to cottage getaways. Photos from the ragged Yorkshire Dales to the sunny dunes of the Norfolk coastline, these tried and tested features give real insight for dog owners.

Each edition features a comprehensive pull out guide to a specific area. Nothing is taken to chance as Dog Friendly has taken all the legwork out of finding walks, best local attractions and accommodation that takes dogs: So, no having to leave out your four-legged family member from all the fun of days out or that family holiday.

Dog Friendly is offering a special gift subscription of six issues for the price of five. Saving £3.99, you will get a full year’s subscription for just £19.99 with £2 going to DogLost.

We wouldn’t blame you if you wanted to keep the subscription for yourself, but it will make a great Christmas present. In the current issue, readers take you through their experiences of the Isle of Skye, the Yorkshire Dales and Pembrokeshire. The pull-out guide features the UK’s newest national park, the South Downs, with the vast expanse of rolling countryside is littered with picturesque towns and villages.

The January issue will also feature a piece on DogLost.

To get your great gift subscription go to Dog Friendly.

Lads’ smart work reunites stolen Surrey Cockers

Jamal andTwo Surrey lads’ smart action meant that the two stolen Cocker Spaniels from Cranleigh earlier yesterday were reunited with their owners Simon and  Tina Drayson.

Nelson and Brock were found in the early hours of this morning by Jamal Betts and his friend Matt Kipping. The 16 year olds were making their way home from a party when they noticed the two dogs following them.

After contacting the RSPCA and Surrey dog wardens, the boys stayed with the dogs for and hour whilst they waited for the Police.  Jamal’s mum Tara came to their aid and told DogLost: “Nelson was very anxious but was coaxed into my car with Brock, who was
quick to jump in because he knew he was going home.”

Dog Rescuers! copyThe dogs were kept in the car for their own safety from passing traffic until the Police arrived. Continued Tara: “The Police took one look at the dogs and said ‘Yep, that’s them’. They informed the boys that the dogs they had rescued were in fact the stolen working dogs from Cranleigh.”

The dogs, who were stolen earlier in the day by thieves caught on cctv, were shared thousands of times by the DogLost social media team and other dog lovers.

Owner Simon Drayson told DogLost : “We’re absolutely thrilled to have the boys home. Thanks you so much for everyone who shared the CCTV footage on social media.”

Photos show Jamal and Matt, and Nelson being collected by a police officer.

Badly injured dog may have been used for dog fighting

Lush reunited 77346_a A badly injured little Jack Russell Cross has been reunited with her owners after being found lying by the roadside near Newbury Showground, Chieveley.

Lushious, a white and light tan dog, was stolen from a farm near Faringdon in Oxfordshire 10 days before. Her finder took her to a local vets who scanned her and was able to contact her owners.

Her relieved owner told DogLost: “It looks to me as if she has been used for dog-fighting and although she looks a bit grim in the photo she is alive and on the road to recovery.”

Lush 77346_bGrateful for the help and publicity from DogLost, her owner continued: “Some of the stories posted on your site about dogs being found were very encouraging in giving us hope that we would get her back.”

Although the tabloid media like to highlight dog fighting as a key reason for dog theft, in reality it only accounts for a very small proportion of thefts.

DogLost celebrates Toby’s return on Good Morning Britain

Toby GMBDogLost founder, Jayne Hayes, was on ITV’s Good Morning Britain this morning with Louise Marsh the owner of the border terrier reunited after a reconstruction and a media campaign which include an aeroplane banner.

Both expected to appear on the programme to talk about dog theft and to make an appeal for Toby’s return, but as Good Morning Britain were putting the show together yesterday afternoon, news of Toby being found filtered through.

Toby – and a Jack Russell who had been missing for a year – had been found by a woman more than 50 miles away in Kent who took them to a vet for scanning.

Toby, who ran off from his home in Woking two weeks ago had been found by a local man who was knocking door to door to find his owner when he was approached by a man in a car. In an often repeated scenerio, the driver offered to take Toby to the vets to be scanned. And that was the last anyone saw of Toby until a chance sighting yesterday.

Said a spokesperson for DogLost: “Significant media campaigns means that a dog is so well-known that it is impossible for a him to be sold on and he is dumped. But we would warn people who find a dog and try to find where he lives, that claims by people in cars that they are the owner or that they are taking him to the vet are rarely true. If in any doubt, contact the dog warden or us.”

Free subscription to Dog Friendly

Dog pubDogLost have partnered with Dog Friendly, the UK’s largest online database of dog friendly places and businesses, and are delighted to offer all our members a year’s free membership worth £5.99

Dogfriendly has 21 online databases with more than 30,000 listings, including hotels, pubs, self-catering, camping and caravan sites, days out and beaches where your dogs will be made as welcome as you.

To claim your free membership, simply send an email to Dog Friendly , write DogLost Special Offer in the subject line and provide your address and phone number. DogFriendly will send your log-in details for one year’s free full membership.

Keep your dogs safe during the fireworks season

Owners are being urgfireworks 2ed to keep their dogs safe as the fireworks season starts.

Said DogLost founder, Jayne Hayes: “This time of year is one of the busiest as dogs get frightened by fireworks and bolt.”

Whilst many return home on their own, or are found locally, others are often found deceased as they are involved in a road traffic collision or are hit by a train.

Said a DogLost spokesperson: “We have a few simple suggestions for owners to ensure they keep their dogs safe:”

  • 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 have been known to leap fences out of fear
  • Make sure he’s registered with DogLost should the worst happen

Follow more advice from the Dogs Trust