Debbie Matthews with her Yorkshire Terriers Gizmo and Widget, who were stolen
earlier this year. Thankfully both are now back with Debbie, and she has started her campaign 'Vets Get Scanning' in conjunction with Dog Theft Action.
DOG THEFT Action will be joining forces with Vets Get Scanning at Discover Dogs on the 11th & 12th November at Earls Court 2 to reinforce the need for permanent identification together with a strong backup service of routine scanning, for all dogs.
Vets Get Scanning (VGS) was founded by Bruce Forsyth and his daughter Debbie Matthews after Debbie’s dogs - Yorkshire terriers Widget and Gizmo - were stolen from her parked car earlier this year. A massive media campaign proved successful when both dogs were returned safely to their distraught owner after being sold on in a London market. Bruce and Debbie decided to set up their appeal to focus on this issue especially by encouraging vets to routinely scan dogs when presented for routine treatment.
Debbie said, ‘Vets Get Scanning’s main objective is to ensure that all dogs are checked regularly for microchips by vets. If a dog is presented by someone other than their rightful owner – questions should be asked to establish whether or not the dog has in fact been stolen.
It is ideal for VGS to join forces with Dog Theft Action and present a united front on this issue that is causing so much distress and misery to dogs and their owners throughout the UK. We will be extending an invitation to the public to participate in our campaign by discussing this matter with their veterinary surgeons and asking for this facility to be provided.’
Margaret Nawrockyi, Secretary of DTA said, ‘DTA is very keen to co-operate and co-ordinate with all organisations that can help to close the loopholes that seem to work against the victims of dog theft. We were delighted to attend a meeting during the summer with Debbie and her colleague Sylvia Tabor, where it soon became clear that both DTA & VGS share a natural synergy.
DTA encourages dog owners to regularly check their dogs’ microchips to ensure that they are functioning correctly. This can be done annually at veterinary practices. However we believe vets could also fulfil a vital role by routinely scanning dogs that come to the surgery for non-emergency treatment.
‘We have been very fortunate in that the Kennel Club has supported DTA by donating a stand at this important event in the canine calendar where information is available to the public on every aspect of dog ownership. We believe it is the perfect venue to launch the VGS campaign and to join together to ask for public support. We wish VGS every success in the future with this appeal.’
Bruce Forsyth said: ‘I would like to thank Dog Theft Action for inviting us to participate with them at Discover Dogs and I’m pleased to announce a donation of three scanners to the Dog Theft Action Scanner Appeal which we hope everyone will support.
‘I know how very lucky my daughter Debbie is to have both dogs back because of the media coverage, especially that on GMTV. As Margaret has said there are many loopholes that work against dog owners and having experienced this first hand we know what changes need to be made to the present system. By starting Vets Get Scanning we feel this is a positive way to help the many people still looking for their stolen dogs.
‘We need the help of every dog owner across the country and ask them to request that their vets scan all dogs before routine treatments. Together we can make a difference.
‘Remember, dog theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in our country. Be extra vigilant with your dog; we don’t want you to become another statistic!’
DTA will be doing their utmost to raise funds for their Scanner Appeal at Discover Dogs. After launching their new initiative at the KC in September they hare planning to purchase hand held microchip scanners to present to dedicated rescue and welfare organisations, so that stolen dogs can be identified and not unknowingly rehomed.
Two scanners will be presented during the two-day event. The first will be presented to Staffordshire Bull Terrier Rescue Welfare by KC External Affairs Manager, Phil Buckley on Saturday 11th November. Debbie Matthews of Vets Get Scanning will present the second scanner to Westie ReHoming on Sunday 12th November.