Devastatingly, more than 60 dogs are stolen in England and Wales every week, taken from their loving homes by thieves. Alarmingly less than 5% of cases will lead to convictions in the United Kingdom! This is due to the animal theft being viewed in the same manner as a burglary, which ultimately views your beloved pet at the same level as an inanimate object within the law. Below we offer advice on how as pet owners we can assist in changing current legislation and back the Pet Theft Reform. In addition, we offer tips on how to keep your pet safe via identification methods, in order to reduce the risk of your pet becoming a victim of theft and becoming lost indefinitely.
Pet Theft Reform in Legislation
Pet Theft Reform, full details of which can be found via the following hashtag #PetTheftReform, is a campaign targeted at working towards minor revisions within current legislation, so that pet theft is viewed within the law as a crime of its own category. The vision is for legislation to reflect the fact that an animal is a living being, with thoughts and emotions and that this needs to be taken into consideration when convictions are made. Ensuring that the person responsible for stealing your pet and putting a live animal through a huge traumatic experience, is treated more seriously than someone breaking into your home and stealing an object. The question is, as a pet owner how can you assist this progression and bring Pet Theft Reform of legislation into fruition? The main advice is to write to your local MP regarding the matter, a complete letter draft is available and by writing to your MP you can work together with #PetTheftReform to protect your countries pets.
Pet Identification Methods
Pet Theft Awareness Day 2019 is on February 14th this year and the date couldn’t be more poignant, with most of us loving our pets more than we love other humans! Pet Theft Awareness Day, which can be followed via the hashtag #PetTheftAwarenessDay on social media, aims to raise awareness of identification methods for our pets. Ensuring, that if your dog is become lost or stolen, that your much loved family friend can find its way back to the home where they belong. So what are the methods of identification that are available for pets?
Identification tags containing your pet’s name, address and your contact telephone number, are handy instant ways of ensuring your pet is identifiable. As collars can be easily lost, broken or removed, they do not provide you with a ‘fail safe’ permanent method of identification. However, they are still useful particularly for a pet who has become lost, as they can be read easily by the general public and do not need a specific piece of equipment in order for identification to take place.
The Kennel Club state that there are three methods of permanent pet identification currently available in the United Kingdom; microchipping, tattoos and DNA profiling. It is felt that microchipping is the safest and most permanent way of permanently ensuring that your pet is identifiable, tattoos can fade and be harder to detect in darker haired animals. Furthermore, tattooing an animal is far more painful for them that having a microchip inserted under the skin. It is suggested, that whilst DNA profiling is accurate it unfortunately doesn’t offer instantaneous identification to take place in the case of a lost or stolen pet. Further information regarding permanent identification methods can be viewed by the Kennel Club website.
In April 2016, an alteration in legislation meant that all dogs over 8 weeks old must be microchipped by law. It is now recommended that all cats and dogs are microchipped to ensure their safety and that all animals wear identification tags on their collar. Microchipping is a painless procedure for animals and therefore does not require any anaesthetic, or put your pet at risk in any way. The average cost of microchipping is only £10.90 per animal and this includes your pet’s details being placed onto a national database. All veterinary practices offer a recommended microchipping service, however you can also go through independent companies for this service, in order to achieve the same result safely. Subsequently, if your pet is ever to be lost or stolen and they are then found, they can have their microchip scanned in order to instantly obtain their identification via the database. You can be contacted immediately, so that you and your furry-friend can be reunited. Further information on microchipping and your pet’s safety can be found via the PDSA website.
Stay safe and ensure you have your pet’s microchipped!