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Dog Theft Action Symposium –
Something for everyone

Dog Theft Action [DTA] is looking forward to its forthcoming Symposium which will take place on Saturday 1st October at Edmondscote Manor, Leamington Spa by kind permission of the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association writes DTA Co-ordinator Margaret Nawrockyi.

The focus will be on the many facets of dog theft in the UK. The host will be Neil Ewart of the GBDA who is also a DTA advisor. Neil has been very involved in the organisation of DTA’s first event. When asked about his support for the DTA Symposium Neil says: "I think it is fair to say that the risk of theft applies to any dog including assistance dogs. Therefore, this is where our support comes in."

Our morning speakers are all well acquainted with the impact that theft of a dog can have. Steve O’Brien from the National Dog Wardens Association [NDWA] will be speaking on the responsibilities and duties of the dog warden with emphasis on maintaining working relationships with all parties concerned with regard to lost and stray dogs. Steve will also discuss the impact that the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act will have on dog wardens and dog owners.

Nick Mays, Chief Reporter of Our Dogs newspaper will be asking the question "Are Dog Owners Getting A Bum Deal?" Nick will be exploring all aspects of dogs, dog theft and the law.

Breeder and show judge Vivien Phillips, who was herself a victim of dog theft says:

"I hope to give a brief resumé on what happened to me when my dogs were stolen and what I did to get them back by involving DTA and Doglost UK, the Local Authority dog wardens, the press, television and radio and my opinions on what you MUST do if your dogs are stolen."
The morning session will conclude with a question and answer session which will be chaired by Neil Ewart and will provide an opportunity for the audience and representatives of DTA, Doglost UK and the NDWA to comment on the status quo and explore the potential for change.

The afternoon will see Peter Purves, Robert Killick and Allen Parton commenting on the impact dogs have had on their lives and affirming their support for the campaign to reduce dog theft in the UK.

Allen's talk will be based on his own personal experiences which will explain the physiological benefits of dogs in our lives. The audience will be taken on an emotional roller coaster ride beginning in 1991 when Allen as a young naval officer sailed to the Gulf war, unaware that a tragic incident would change his life and that of his family forever. Allen continues: "I will share how, through the support and devotion of Endal I have battled back from horrific Gulf war injuries to have a quality of life I once thought lost to me for ever. The aim of this presentation is to strongly argue that dogs have a very important and invaluable position in our society."

DTA is also delighted to welcome a new member to its advisory panel. Dawn Chadwick, Director of Bartfields Chartered Accountants based in Leeds has joined the DTA advisory panel as Financial Advisor. Dawn will provide financial guidance to ensure that donations and sponsorship to DTA are managed appropriately and to best advantage. As a gesture of goodwill, Bartfields will fund the catering for the Symposium. This is a major advantage to DTA as all events to date have been funded by the co-ordinators themselves. DTA are extremely grateful for this kind gesture.

The DTA Symposium promises to be one of shared experiences and perspectives. We cannot fail to benefit from the knowledge and perception of these eloquent speakers. This event compounds the Dog Theft Action ethos – by co-operation and co-ordination we can only strengthen our campaign.