Friday, 12 August 2016

Dog Theft Affecting The Family: Dealing With Grief & Loss

By guest blogger from USA: Amber Kingsley

Thieves, thugs, looters and louts have been causing people stress and heartache since the beginning of time. But when they take a member of our family, this presents a loss on a completely different level. It’s not like losing a material possession, our best four-legged friend has been ripped from the family and this is very traumatic.
While some of our pets can suffer from separation anxiety if we leave them alone for extended periods of time, when they disappear from our lives completely, the grief and trauma we experience can sometimes seem unbearable. Keep in mind these important tips when losing a beloved pet from theft:

Don’t Give Up!

While the first forty-eight hours during the disappearance of a human are often called the critical time for their safe return, there have been many documented cases when animals have been returned with their owners weeks, months or even years after they were lost or abducted. In one peculiar and bizarre case from the United States, a family found their beloved pet for sale on Craigslist (or UK websites such as Gumtree) after it was stolen and they bought their dog back from the thief.

On a personal level, I once had a dog that disappeared and after a few weeks went by, I gave up hope that she would be returned. Exactly three months, three weeks and three days later, I got a phone call from the party who found her. Apparently, the person who had taken her in (she had lost her collar and ID tags) assumed she was a stray. It was only when a friend of hers had seen one of my faded flyers that she shared this information with her buddy and the rest is history - I got my dog back!

Stolen Pets Can't be Replaced!

In some cases, many people who have lost a pet, whether it was from death, desertion or dognapping, they’re are often advised by well-meaning friends or family to replace their beloved animal almost immediately! Perhaps this seems like a good option in filling this painful void, but it isn’t necessarily a good avenue to pursue when it comes to compensating for this type of loss.

For one thing, your pet may turn up and now you have two animals to contend with and they may not necessarily get along with each other. Before you throw in the towel when it comes to their safe return, you may want to wait a reasonable amount of time before considering a replacement. Even if you find a cute dog that needs a home, it happens to be of the same breed of your missing canine, you might resent them for not having the same personality and attributes of your former best friend.

Don’t Let A Teachable Moment Pass You By

Especially when they’re children involved, don’t let this traumatic experience pass you by without some important lessons that can be learned from this type of life-changing event. This can be a time when children can learn more about “stranger danger,” the importance of ensuring they are protected from abduction and their possessions are also safe.

You can explain to them that even though we’re good people ourselves, others may not have the best intentions and they should remain cautious at all times. We all know this sad and sick scenario, a seemingly nice person uses a cute puppy or kitten to lure children into a dangerous situation.

Protect your children from possible perils by sharing how dangerous the outside world can be when it comes to unsavoury characters. You have the potential of possibly preventing another tragedy from occurring when it comes to your two-legged children.

Read more pet related blogs from Amber Kingsley

Friday, 11 March 2016

Pet Theft Awareness Week - 14th to 21st March.

Pet Theft Awareness Week - 14th to 21st March.

Now in its fourth year Pet Theft Awareness Week this year will be promoting the use of technology in helping to prevent pet theft and to find stolen pets.

In particular, dog theft is increasing 14% year on year, and the authorities continue to defy public opinion to introduce stiffer penalties, so prevention awareness is becoming more and more important.

Pet Theft Awareness is a member of SAMPA, the Stolen and Missing Pet Alliance, and in June 2014 the Alliance submitted a recommendation to the Sentencing Council that a pet be categorised as ‘theft of a pet’ and that there be a difference between an inanimate object and a valued living possession.

SAMPA also requested that working within the existing framework, a custodial sentence of a minimum of six weeks could be introduced.
The new Sentencing Council guidelines were introduced on 1stFebruary this year and SAMPA is very disappointed that its recommendations were not accepted and the status quo remains.

Nik Oakley, spokesperson for SAMPA said, “In spite of much lobbying, and intervention by Neil Parish MP, past Chairm of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare, we were unable to persuade the Justices to accept our point of view. We will continue our fight and were delighted that the matter was brought to the House of Commons last week by Gareth Johnson MP”

Using social media and a series of graphics, Pet Theft Awareness will be highlighting the need for pet owners to be vigilant and install some inexpensive but efficient equipment to help keep an eye on their animals.
“While we wait for tougher penalties,”says Richard Jordan of VioVet and co founder of Pet Theft Awareness, “we are urging pet owners to use all the technology that is available to them as the onus remains firmly with them to protect their pets”. 

For more information please contact:
Arnot Wilson, Co- founder PTA.  e-mail:
Nik Oakley, Corporate Communications Advisor, DogLost.   e-mail:
Debbie Matthews, Vets Get Scanning.   e-mail:

Website and print media:
For dog and horse theft information posters:

Friday, 2 October 2015

Compulsory scanning would reunite stolen dogs!

Have you signed the government e-petition to help reunite stolen and missing dogs?
To sign

Pet owners are being urged to support a government e-petition #ScanMe to introduce compulsory scanning after 94% of dog owners mistakenly believed that their dog would be automatically scanned if it went missing.

The survey, which was carried out at Pup Aid at London’s Primrose Hill by the Stolen & Missing Pets Alliance, is a stark reminder that although compulsory microchipping for dogs becomes law next April, there is no compulsion for vets, local authorities or rescue centres to scan a stray dog for its chip.

All those questioned said that they believed scanning should be compulsory from next year as it was pointless for the chips to be compulsory if scanning wasn’t.
Paradoxically the Department of Transport introduced the mandatory scanning by the Highways Agencies of deceased dogs involved in road traffic accidents, whilst scanning by other authorities remain arbitrary.
Debbie Matthews, daughter of Sir Bruce Forsyth and member of SAMPA, has campaigned tirelessly for 10 years to get vets scanning since her father helped her to recover her stolen dogs.
Said Debbie: "I can’t believe that it is mandatory to scan dogs killed on the motorways but that a dog that has gone missing or been stolen and is subsequently found will not necessarily be scanned by vets, rescues and local authorities. This does not make sense and must be changed. If it's law to microchip it should be law to scan. Dead or alive, all pets deserve to be scanned.”

Please encourage everyone to sign and help to reach the 100,000 needed by Jan21st.

Friday, 13 March 2015

Welcome to the VioVet 'Pet Theft Awareness Week 2015'.

A Freedom of Information Request to nine major police forces across the UK to coincide with the 2015 Viovet Pet Theft Awareness Week

VioVet submitted nine FOI requests, asking for domestic pet theft statistics for the calendar year of 2014, and received data from eight forces: Greater Manchester Police, Northumbria Police (Newcastle), West Yorkshire Police (Leeds), Avon and Somerset Constabulary (Bristol), West Midlands police (Birmingham), Thames Valley Police (Buckinghamshire), Hertfordshire Constabulary and Bedfordshire Police.
The Metropolitan Police Service (London) rejected the FOI on the grounds that sourcing the information would take too long.

91% of Stolen Pets were never recovered by the Police.
Pet Theft Awareness don't blame the Police for a poor recovery rate as they are under-resourced in this area and the law treats pets as 'objects' with the same legal status as wheelbarrows and mobile phones.

We'd like to help the Police by lobbying parliament and giving them tough measures to deter thieves - which we believe will reduce the misery of pet and horse theft.
We believe that mandatory prison sentencing will greatly reduce pet thefts which will give our Police services MORE time to investigate other crimes.
For the 9% of pets they return the owners will be very grateful for the work the Police have done.
The remaining 91% will rely on organisations such as and other social media platforms to find THEIR pets. If your pet is microchipped it will of course increase the chances of a stolen resold pet being found providing a vet (or someone) actually scans pets' for microchips.
Unfortunately there is no scanning legislation in place!
The figures, sourced and collated show that of the 883 pets stolen, only 77 were recovered of which one was found dead.
Pet owners in Bristol have the least chance of their pets being found: only one of the 107 fish, birds, dogs, guinea pigs, rabbits and tortoises recorded as stolen was ever returned.
Conversely, in Manchester, 46 pets were returned from a total of 312 that were reported stolen, including a ferret.
Out of the total of 883, dogs were the most likely to be stolen (271 or 31%) closely followed by fish (253 or 29%) and birds (221 or 25%).
The figures reveal some interesting regional variations: more fish were stolen in Manchester than dogs (127 versus 126) whereas Newcastle police recorded the theft of 90 birds comprising 79 pigeons, 10 ducks and a parrot.
Cats, perhaps surprisingly, account for only 3% of the total recorded thefts, despite being one of the most popular domestic pets. Why is it that the police are only recording 3% cats?
Perhaps they'd rather have figures showing  them 'lost' rather than stolen?

Thank you to for providing us with this interesting data.

Scroll Down for previous graphics.

More graphics from the 2015 VioVet Pet Theft Awareness Week.
We welcome sharing these graphics - please include link:

Please use our logos and share our graphics and spread our message.

Friday, 20 February 2015

Please complete our surveys - ask friends too!

Why the need for a survey?

Pet theft is a terrible crime and we need to convince authorities that something needs to be done.
Hard facts and data is vital. We know that most people want pet and horse thieves to face a custodial sentence but to prove this we need some surveys.
Some of the questions might seem unusual but they will have a use in the future or your answers will appeal to a specific audience where we want publicity.

We invite and urge as many pet and horse owners to complete our survey.
You don't need to have been a victim as many of the questions are asking opinions.

Dog Survey: ends Feb 25th:
Cat Survey: ends Feb 25th:
Horse Survey: ends March 2nd:
Bird Survey: ends March 2nd:

Please share the links and spread on relevant forums, social media platforms and websites.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Working dogs are valuable to thieves.

The shooting season has started and professional gangs are targeting fields and moors in search of high value breeding dogs.

Why are people stealing working gundogs?
The answer is obvious.
Gundogs are valuable - it is as simple as that. They are pedigree dogs and they can be sold as working dogs or used on puppy breeding farms.

Dogs are snatched from the field or bundled into a vehicle after a shoot.
Whichever way they are taken the outcome is the same.
Pet Theft Awareness has first hand accounts from victims who have had their working dogs stolen from under their noses.We also know of dogs who have been stolen then recovered on puppy farms.

Prevention is always best:
Be aware of others around you. Is there anyone around who is unfamiliar? Are there any unfamiliar vehicles?
Keep close eyes on your dogs especially and know where they are at all times.
Be prepared to act quickly if you see a risk of a theft.
Look out for others too and ask them to do the same for you.

Gundog Gone? What to do immediately:
The faster you act the better your chances of a safe return are.
Write down as much information as possible regarding the circumstances, vehicles in the area or anything which could help.
Contact the police a soon as you realise your dog is missing.
Contact friends and start an immediate search of the area.
Put a message out on Facebook including an image of your dog. Tell your friends to share.
Tweet too with as much information as you can including a recent photo of your dog.
If you have not done so already activate your dog's details on and visit their site for help and information.

Our sponsors VioVet have a gundog theft blog:

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Recognise Us?

Please share this link or the images on social media and related forums.
Also, please print the images and display at vets, clubs, and pet shops.