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Organisations show a united front against dog theft

ADING CAMPAIGN group Dog Theft Action (DTA) will be joining Petlog the KC’s Pet Identification Service team on their newly designed stand in Hall 2 at Crufts 2008.

They will also be joined by Debbie Matthews and her team from Vets Get Scanning (VGS). The three organisations will be presenting a united front in the campaign against dog theft.

The message, as always is prevention rather than cure. DTA’s new watch word is - ‘Don’t Be A Victim’. Our advice will of course recommend Permanent Identification on a national scale. If stray or abandoned dogs are to stand a chance of being reunited with their owner some form of permanent ID is necessary to assist dog wardens, police and vets to do their job and ensure that missing dogs return to their rightful owner without delay.

Celia Walsom the Manager of the KC’s Petlog team which supports the details of over 3.5 million microchipped animals and their owners said, ‘Microchipping is a safe, quick, and painless way to ensure your pet is permanently identified. The Petlog Service provides a full 24/7 365 days a year service to offer support and peace of mind to pet owners – last year we assisted with over 89,000 lost and found calls, proving that Microchipping is an effective way of safeguarding your pet.’

Vets Get Scanning proposes that all vets should adopt a practice policy where all dogs are scanned on their first visit. It may be the only time a stolen dog that has been sold or rehomed to an unsuspecting member of the public, will be scanned for a microchip. This will result in stolen dogs being reunited with their rightful owners! VGS believes that Permanent ID and the routine scanning of all dogs are powerful weapons in the fight against dog theft.

Debbie Matthews, founder of Vets Get Scanning said, ‘Vets set their own practice policies and many don’t believe that scanning is something that we dog owners expect! Even though the RCVS, BSAVA, the Kennel Club and Petlog all advise vets to routinely scan, vets often blame lack of time or Data Protection from preventing them from carrying out this necessary procedure. VGS says ‘If vets get scanning - microchips work!’

DTA has found over previous years that word of mouth is a powerful ally in this struggle. We are asking visitors to Crufts 2008 to make a visit to the Petlog stand a priority. Whatever your reason for visiting the show; to show your dog, demonstrate its skill or ability, to discuss issues about your breed, to advise visitors about your company or charity – the security of dogs is fundamental to all dog owners.

We still regularly hear of dogs being left in vulnerable situations. We see it happen in front of our eyes as we go about our daily lives. DTA is asking the dog loving public to warn others not to leave their dog unattended at any time.

DTA is fully committed to permanent identification. The Scanner Appeal, which was introduced in 2006 presents microchip scanners to deserving organisations that are keen to ensure that dogs are thoroughly scanned for microchips before being re-homed. This year presentations will be made by Victoria Stilwell, Roy Barraclough, Allen Parton and Endal and Trevor Cooper. The scanners have been donated to the DTA Scanner Appeal by Sarah Fry, sales manager of Pet ID.
Margaret Nawrockyi, Secretary of DTA said, ‘I hope that as many people as possible will come to the stand and take away some literature regarding dog theft and permanent ID and also take some to give to their associates and friends in the canine world.

We are happy to advise, discuss specific issues and provide flyers for those who belong to dog clubs or breed societies etc. We also hope to persuade the Trustees and executives of these associations to make time in their annual programme to discuss security measures with their members.

If we are aware of the dangers and act accordingly - we reduce the chances of becoming victims of dog theft.’

DTA, Petlog and VGS will be on Stand 4 Hall 2 at the NEC Birmingham for Crufts 2008