BBC report highlights dog theft

Youths The law and YouA report by the BBC has highlighted the growth in dog theft across the UK.

Using statistics obtained form Police forces around the country, the report identified the huge variation in reporting and the need for tougher sentencing.

The story was picked up by all regional TV news programmes and many of the BBC local radio stations.

Said DogLost spokesperson, Nik Oakley, “The report gave us the opportunity to talk about the growth of dog theft and the impact on owners. We were also able to highlight the fact that statistics demonstrate how police forces react to the crime rather than just the size of the crime.”

DogLost was featured in most of the programmes as well as offering case studies of stolen dogs for both radio and TV.

The story was also picked up by Radio 4’s You and Yours and on 5Live. It also made the headlines on Radio 2 and the BBC News Channel.

Together with Dartford MP, Gareth Johnson, DogLost was able to make the case for the need for tougher sentencing for dog thieves and a specific offence of pet theft.

Cruel hoaxer demands money for missing dogs

police-officersOwners of lost and stolen dogs are being asked to be on their guard for a man demanding money for their return.

Numerous owners have been called by a man who says he has their dog and will harm him if they don’t pay £400 or £500 into a Post Office. Owners who have asked for photographic evidence that he has the dog are faced with aggressive behaviour.

One owner – who asked not to be named – said, “Fortunately I had taken advice from DogLost and I immediately asked for some evidence that he had my dog. Although I had been warned it was a hoax, the caller was very abusive and threatening.”

Like most of the calls that are being made from the withheld number, this owner was told he had 10 minutes to take the money to the Post Office.

Said DogLost Police Coordinator, Jane Frankland “Sometimes he states he knows where owners live, but that’s impossible as only telephone numbers or emails are displayed on websites where the missing dog is listed.”

Unfortunately a number of dog owners have been taken in and police across a number of counties are investigating.

Owners confronted by a person demanding money for the return of their dog should phone the police on 101 immediately.

Anyone with information on the alleged extortionist should contact or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 in complete confidence.


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 with volunteering in the subject line.