Photo: Nick Mays
l to r: Neil Ewart, Laura Lucas, Margaret Nawrockyi and Jayne Hayes. The DTA team meet Neil Ewart of Guide Dogs for the Blind Association and share in a generous measure of the GDBA's own special brew, 'Old Warwick'
DOG THEFT ACTION, the lobby group formed to compel the authorities to take dog theft seriously, more than made its mark at Crufts, at which its official launch took place.
DTA Co-ordinator Margaret Nawrockyi told OUR DOGS: "We took up our post outside the main entrance to the NEC bright and early each morning for the four day period of Crufts. We offered information to everyone and anyone who would listen about the escalating figures of dog theft in the UK. Our advice was to log on to the DTA website and participate in the initiatives suggested there. The message we received over and over again was ‘Thank God someone is doing something about this!’"
As the DTA team handed out their postcards and fliers – some 25,000 - in total a pattern began to emerge from the feedback they received. Many visitors had a personal story to tell about dog theft, sharing their grief, anger and frustration with the DTA officials.
Margaret adds: "Time and again we were assured by staff and visitors alike that they supported and applauded our efforts. Many acknowledged that they had read about us in Our Dogs.
"The response from the dog world was both encouraging and supportive. We would like to thank the Kennel Club press office for their hospitality and support throughout the four-day period. They have backed us from DTA’s inception and we look forward to working with them again in the near future."
Media attention for the DTA continues to grow after strong support from OUR DOGS, including articles from OUR DOGS columnists Peter Purves and Robert Killick in the pre-Crufts issues. The DTA and its parent group Doglost UK were featured on the The Politics Show and in the Daily Mail, while Blast TV filmed the team in action at Crufts for a forthcoming documentary to be shown on BBC 2 in the autumn. DTA Founder Jayne Hayes represented Doglost UK and DTA when she addressed the National Dog Wardens Association Seminar in Shropshire last week.
Meanwhile, the DTA website continues to plot the progress of Early Day Motion 775 in the House of Commons, tabled by Andrew Rosindell MP for Romford. The figure currently stands at 65 signatures.
Margaret concludes: "The list of signatories can be downloaded easily. Please log on and if your MP’s signature is not there then take a few minutes to download our sample letter with a polite suggestion that he/she signs the EDM forthwith and forward it to your MP at the House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA. There’s an election due soon – and politicians are aware – or should be aware – that dog owners are voters too!"
* Visit the DTA’s website on: www.dogtheftaction.co.uk Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone: Jayne Hayes: 01909 733366 or Margaret Nawrockyi: 01652 688089