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Stand and be counted!

Photo by Vince Hogan
PICTURED AT Crufts supporting the Vets Get Scanning initiative are,
from left to right: Margaret Nawrockyi of Dog Theft Action; OUR DOGS Editor Anne Williams,
and Debbie Matthews, co-founder of the campaign group

Dog Theft Action (DTA) was absolutely delighted to be able participate in Crufts 2007 writes Margaret Nawrockyi.

After a generous donation from the Kennel Club (KC), the DTA stand in Hall 2 of the NEC was the venue for visitors to sign our two petitions which will bring serious attention to the need for an infrastructure of scanning dogs for microchips.

The leading campaign group Vets Get Scanning, initiated by Bruce Forsyth and his daughter Debbie Matthews, after their own personal experiences of dog theft has invited celebrities to urge the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons to endorse routine scanning of all dogs when presented for routine treatment at veterinary centres throughout the UK. This simple act would identify those dogs that have been stolen and sold or passed on to unsuspecting owners.

The Jester’s Law Campaign was started in 2005 by Nikki Powditch after her dog Jester was killed on the A1, collected by the Highways Agency and processed into bone meal before Nikki had the opportunity to claim her right to dispose of her dog’s remains in her own way. Jester’s Law demands that all found dogs, whether injured or deceased are scanned for microchips and checked for tattoos and their owners notified accordingly.

Both petitions were greeted warmly by visitors to our stand. The opportunity to discuss these and other issues relating to dog theft was invaluable. Many dog lovers are surprised to learn that these checks are not being made already and begged the question ‘why not?’ It seems highly appropriate for the authorities to support those owners who have taken the initiative to permanently identify their dogs by a programme of checking for tattoos and scanning for microchips.

The DTA Scanner Appeal – well under way since its inception in 2006 – presented no fewer than five microchip scanners to charities involved in the welfare and rescue of dogs.

Two further scanners were donated to the DTA Scanner Appeal by Vets Get Scanning (VGS). With great excitement and media interest these two scanners were presented to two charities by top canine trainer, Victoria Stilwell and TV Vet Marc Abraham. The lucky charities to receive scanners from these celebrities were Rough Collie Rescue (Midlands) and Lincolnshire, Essex & Trent Boxer Rescue.

Victoria Stilwell said, ‘I was delighted to support Vets Get Scanning and Dog Theft Action. These two organisations both promote permanent ID and routine scanning of all dogs by vets. By presenting this scanner I hope to raise public awareness to these two issues as I believe they are crucial weapons in the fight against dog theft.’

Marc Abraham said, ‘Dog Theft is a growing crime in the UK and the public need to be on their guard. By supporting Vets Get Scanning and Dog Theft Action I can help promote their aims which include permanent ID and routine scanning of all dogs which will result in stolen dogs being reunited with their rightful owners. I am delighted to present a scanner to support the cause and I am a big fan of Boxer Rescue.’

Three further scanners were presented by Daphne Townsend of Rugby Dog Training Club, Nick Mays Our Dogs Chief Reporter and President of DTA and Celia Walsom, Manager of the KC’s PetLog Reunification Service. These scanners were received by Wiccaweys Border Collies and Working Sheepdogs, Rottweiler Welfare Association and Rescue Animals in Need respectively.

The working partnership between DTA and VGS was cemented during the four days of Crufts 2007. DTA Trustees: Chairman Neil Ewart, Vice Chairman Allen Parton and his famous canine partner Endal, President Nick Mays, Secretary Margaret Nawrockyi and Events Co-ordinator Nikki Powditch teamed up with Debbie and Richard Matthews, Sylvia Tabor and Julien Poublon of VGS.

DTA was delighted to welcome several members from its advisory panel and supporters who felt compelled to participate in our mission to alert dog owners to the constant threat of dog theft and to encourage tightened security measures where dogs are concerned.

DTA would like to thank the Kennel Club and the PetLog Reunification Service for their generous donation of the stand – thus making it possible for both groups to attend the most prestigious dog show in the world. Visitors to the stand frequently speculated that this issue was of paramount importance to 153,000 visitors who had flocked to the NEC from all over the world.

Dog Theft Action is a registered charity - Registered No. 1115706