Boris declares war on dog thieves, on the 15th year anniversary since Widget and Gizmo were stolen! #PetTheftReform #FernsLaw


So today Boris Johnson PM writes for The Mail on Sunday. “Boris Johnson promises ‘ruthless’ crackdown on scourge of gangs stealing dogs after huge rise in thefts during pandemic.”

The date is 2nd May 2021. By coincidence Widget and Gizmo were stolen on 2nd May 2006!

15 years ago today, my family and I suffered at the hands of dog thieves, an experience so extreme it’s never been forgotten.

I was one of the lucky ones and got both dogs back home, not because of the police or the dogs microchips but because I had a famous father. Two live appeals on GMTV found both of them!

I found out in the first 24 hours of their theft, that the police couldn’t help me, they told me – “as it’s only dogs we won’t come out!” And then Jayne Hayes founder of Doglost told me as they were 7 years old and neutered they would probably be sold on but that microchips are not checked at vet clinics! The implications of this were incomprehensible then and still are to this day.

Both dogs were sold on to separate people, one sold on from a livestock market in Southall, the other from a man in a park in Hayes. Both people had bought the dogs because they couldn’t get a rescue dog as they lived in flats.

My first aim after getting Widget and Gizmo home was to contact, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) and let them know what had happened to me as dog theft was not a huge issue back them, hoping they would see how important it was for veterinarians to check microchips at first treatment. I really truly believed that this was a simple quick fix to help their customers and reunite stolen dogs that had been sold on to unsuspecting new families. What’s not to like?

Moving forward 15 years to today with the help of co-founders of Stolen And Missing Pets Alliance (SAMPA), Patrons Daniel Allen Beverley Cuddy Marc Abraham John Cooper, Brenda Blythan, so many Facebook groups and new FB friends this is a huge step forward for #PetTheftReform

Sadly RCVS and BVA still talk with mixed messages to avoid addressing this important issue of reuniting sold on pets. They can’t continue to say it is ‘best practice’ to check microchip registration at first treatment and also say they don’t support checking microchips at first treatment! It’s either one or the other and we know they don’t support compulsory microchip scanning to check microchips.

While it’s a good day for Pet Theft Reform we are still waiting for the results from the recent Government consultation on cat and dog scanning and microchipping, which included our #FernsLaw question: Should vets be legally obliged to check microchips at first presentation?

Half way there at it feels good. Thank you to everyone who has shared posts for the missing dogs and cats, for signing all the Government petitions and for writing to your MPs. It’s been a mammoth journey let’s keep it going and we will get the changes we need.

Just wish my dad was here to see this important update 🐾❤️🐾

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