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DTA strides forward at Crufts!

DOG THEFT Action, the group taking a zero tolerance stand against dog theft will be bringing their message to Crufts 2006. Displaying the new Dog Theft Action (DTA) logo at their stand (no 112) in hall 2 at the National Exhibition Centre, DTA co-ordinators and advisors will welcome all visitors to the internationally renowned dog show and ask them to take a little time to consider the impact of dog theft.

DTA’s objectives are:

to provide vital information to the victims of dog theft to assist them in their search for their missing dog

to promote responsible dog ownership so that the incidence of dog thefts are reduced

to act as a catalyst bringing together all agencies that could have a potential impact on this issue

Over the past year, DTA has made significant progress in getting the subject of dog theft taken seriously which resulted in a summit meeting, hosted by the Kennel Club and attended by prominent individuals and representatives from many different agencies, including Ian Cawsey MP, Dogs Trust, the RSPCA, the British Veterinary Association and the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. Later this year DTA plans a meeting with Associate Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare to further progress political commitment to tackling the scourge of dog theft.

High on DTA’s ‘wish list’ is a national database of lost, stolen and found dogs used by police, dog wardens, vets, rescue and welfare centres. They would like vets to scan all new dogs prior to routine treatment and are also seeking local authority commitment to check all stray dogs for microchips and tattoos. DTA would also like reassurance of police commitment to record thefts of dogs and for road casualties to be identified and stored for 7 days before disposal.

DTA would like to thank the Kennel Club for all the support they have given in the first year of the action group’s existence. The KC has played a major role in this campaign - co-operating and co-ordinating with DTA for the good of mans’ best friend.

Kennel Club Secretary Caroline Kisko said: "We are delighted to be supporting DTA at Crufts and look forward to continuing to assist them throughout 2006. The KC is in the process of seeking a meeting with the RCVS with regard to compulsory scanning for microchips by vets and we shall be working alongside DTA and other organisations ‘in defence of the dog’, to get this problem addressed."

DTA personnel will be on hand to discuss the many issues surrounding dog theft e.g. permanent identification, security issues and understanding of the law. Dog lovers will be encouraged to get involved in the campaign to make the UK a safer place for dogs and their owners.

Expert advice for DTA

There have been several new additions to the Dog Theft Action Advisory Panel since the autumn. The most recent advisor to join DTA is writer, broadcaster and dog expert Carolyn Menteith and her Polish Lowland Sheepdog, Digby.

Having worked with animals for most of her life, Carolyn believes that dog training should be a positive experience that is fun for both the dog and the owner. She is dedicated to improving life for dogs and has embraced all aspects of the canine world, speaking out with determination and clarity on many contentious issues inviting us to review our own methodologies as owners so that dogs are valued and appreciated as man’s natural companion.

Carolyn’s ability to understand canine psychology has made her a natural champion of the canine world. She is a member of the Kennel Club Accreditation Scheme for Instructors in Dog Training and Canine Behaviour, the Association of Pet Dog Trainers, The Society for Companion Animal Studies and the International Society for Anthrozoology. Carolyn embraces new challenges so it is no surprise therefore to hear that she responded enthusiastically when invited to join the Dog Theft Action Advisory Panel.

Carolyn says: "Everyone who lives with a dog can tell you what an important role they play in our lives. They are our friends, our family, our confidantes, our playmates, and often the ones who know more about us than anyone. They keep us happy, healthy, fit - and loved.

"To lose a dog under any circumstances is utterly heartbreaking - it is like losing a member of the family - but to lose one as a result of dog theft is truly devastating. All dog owners need to become aware of this growing problem and know how to protect themselves and their dogs against theft - and also to know what to do and where to turn if the worst happens.

"I am delighted to be able to add my voice to Dog Theft Action and hope that by working together we can save more owners from knowing the heartbreak of losing their dog."