Saturday, 2 November 2013

Hopefully during the week many thousands of gundog (and other animal) owners have been made aware that they could be victims of a horrible crime. At PTA we regularly speak to people who have had their precious animals stolen. Many consider it a "living nightmare" and their lives have been turned upside down. Often it is the 'not knowing' that they find most upsetting apart from desperately missing their family member.

Regardless of whether it is a working dog or family pet we believe that more needs to be done to make everyone aware that animals are being stolen. We'd definitely like to see much tougher sentencing to act as a deterrent and keeps offenders away from our pets!

Please sign our petition and ask your friends to. It takes two minutes.

A big "Thank You" to the following organisations for supporting the week.
A special thanks to Arnot Wilson from The Dog Union, and Richard and Simon from VioVet, all of whom have devoted their time to the first ever Gundog Theft Awareness Week.

Our Supporters
The Kennel Club : - website - facebook
Countryside Alliance : - website - facebook
VioVet : - website - facebook
Horse & Country TV : - website - facebook
The Dog Union : - website - facebook
Vets Get Scanning : - website - facebook
NOBS : - website
PetLog : - website - facebook
Dog Theft Action : - website - facebook
Gundog Gear : - website - facebook
Our Dogs : - website - facebook
Retrieva : - website - facebook : - website - facebook
Scanner Angel : - website - facebook
Labradouro : - website - facebook
PetGen : - website - facebook

Friday, 1 November 2013

Garden and Kennel Security

How easy would it be to steal your gundogs from your garden or kennel?
Put yourself in the shoes of a dog thief.
Is your property an easy target for anyone wanting to gain access to your dogs?
Can locks and chains be improved?

The Opportunist Thief:
What would it take to get into your garden and remove your dog? Consider ways you can improve security.
Would it be easy for an opportunist...a passer-by looking for an easy steal to get into your garden?
Are you inviting thieves into your garden by leaving bins against fencing or objects to be climbed upon?
Can gates be easily opened or climbed over?
Do you have tools or objects in your garden which would help break into a kennel?

Our advice is to consider options which prevent access to your kennel and think of ways you can deter trespassing.

Professional Thieves:
How difficult would stealing your gundog(s) be to a professional with tools and experience?
We've heard of gangs who target kennels and they'll be used to getting into gardens and quickly removing dogs from kennels within minutes. They are long gone before you 've even noticed.

Technology can help prevent theft or help in returning a stolen dog.
We've talked about these options already but if you've not seen them here they are again:
Signs on the kennel door could be your last chance of defence.

CCTV is now a lowcost deterrent. Remember, a hooded thief might might not be deterred from a camera pointing from behind, so make sure there is one visibly aimed directly into the kennel entrance which is visible on approach. Put a sign on the kennel door warning them they are being filmed and you are alerted!

DNA can be extracted and held on file for £25 with PetGen. Criminals hate DNA as they know how compelling it is as evidence. Displaying a sign on your kennel door could be enough to put off a thief and if your dog is stolen and resold then your ownership details are on file proving who owns the dog.

Loc8tor - Not only does the collar tag help find missing dogs (or whatever the tag is attached to) it can be set to alert you if the tag leaves the range you have set. Of course the collar can easily be removed but a thief might not know the tag activates your device. more info

A Retrieva
GPS collar is very difficult to remove even with tools. If your dog is stolen then you can track it using GPS technology.
more info

So please consider how you can improve your security and think about how a thief could get into your garden and gain access to your kennel.

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Breeders Beware!

Let's make it harder for puppy thieves!
Thieves have stolen entire litters within minutes and the chances are your pups won’t be microchipped!
We’ve noticed in the past year several incidents of entire puppies (often with the bitch) stolen and never seen again.

A litter of puppies has a very high value. Each individual puppy is worth more than a laptop and thieves know this.
If you are well known for producing gundog puppies then be aware that you could be a target for professional thieves. Unless you make it very hard for them taking your puppies is a very easy crime to commit, so put yourself in the shoes of a criminal and consider how easy it would be to make a raid on your property.

A few simple measures can be enough to safeguard your puppies.
Ask yourself “how easy would it be to gain access to my dogs’ pen?”
If they are outside is there a sensor security light to make you aware of any intruders?
Consider improving locks and chains. If your puppies are inside then make sure window-locks are fitted and think about  locating the pen in a part of the house that would deter ‘smash-and-grab’ thieves.
It is worth investing in technology. CCTV really does deter and you can set it up to alert mobile devices if movement is captured.

Prepare for the worst!
When it comes to selling your puppies you need to be extra vigilant.
We know of puppies that have been snatched by people pretending to purchase during viewings.
Never be alone when potential buyers visit. Have a friend take number-plate car details and consider recording all viewings on a discrete webcam if you don’t have CCTV.

Can DNA technology help?
Yes, a sign on your pen outlining that your dog’s DNA profile is on file would deter thieves especially if they are repeat offenders. Thieves know the how important the use of DNA evidence is when it comes to convicting.
For £25 PetGen will extract and store the mother’s DNA which can be used in court as evidence should the puppies get stolen.!/~/product/category=6372330&id=27329597

Interesting relevant link:

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Have you seen them?

Have you seen them?

These are just a few of the hundreds of gundogs stolen each year.
Many of them are also pets and their owners are devastated to lose a family member.

Please share this image and inform if you recognise any of these dogs. is a network of dedicated dog lovers who work together to reunite dogs with their owners.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Preventative Technology:

Security measures have moved on from locks and chains. Modern devices or measures needn’t cost much or take hours to setup so they are worth investing in.

CCTV is now affordable to everyone and easy to install.
For as little as £10 you can buy a webcam with software which activates recording if it senses movement and send your mobile phone an alert.
Even fake cameras act as a deterrent to opportunist thieves.

The Retrieva Collar is an outstanding piece of kit and if your dog is stolen it will give you the best chance of finding your dog.
The collar is extremely difficult to remove even with tools. If it is cut off  (or the signal is lost) then you will be alerted with the ability of seeing exactly where and when this happens. You can track your dog from your mobile phone or computer.

The Loc8tor includes four collar tags and a handheld finder. It doesn’t require a simcard as it works using radio frequencies – so no monthly contracts. Available for around £100 if you also purchase the essential splash-proof covers (sold separately).
The finder range is limited to about 100m in the field so its use would be better suited to the kennel.
For kennel security it has a boundary mode which alerts the handheld device if the fob leaves your set range.
Four separate fobs means four different dogs can be monitored – or you can save one fob for items and never lose your keys again!

PetGen offer DNA technology which will prove ownership of your dog should he/she be stolen and resold. Recently there have been legal disputes and a microchip registration might not necessarily prove ownership in court. For £25 your dog(s) DNA can be extracted and held on file for future use.
DNA storage and matching of samples has been effectively used in court to recover animals involved in dispute cases, where microchipping alone was deemed insufficient.

PetGen say:
Ideally you would take samples from each puppy as identification would be more accurate. You could technically prove ownership by showing that the puppies are the offspring of the bitch, but it may not look quite as good in a court case for example.”

Displaying a sign would deter thieves that your dogs are “too hot to handle”.

Monday, 28 October 2013

What to do if you are a victim?

Stolen Gundog : What to do immediately:

Whether it is a gundog or a pet the actions are the same.
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.

Update microchip details to a stolen status. Halo scanners will instantly state ‘missing’.

Stolen Gundog : The following days:

Put a poster up in your police station - possibly one of the police officers (or public) will see it and recognise your dog.

Consider putting posters in supermarkets especially if you think the theft of your gundog was by non-professional thieves.
Click here for a list of council dog wardens. It is worth calling them as hopefully thieves might abandon your dog if they are worried about getting caught.

Post a photo and details on as many relevant facebook pages as possible:
These pages will quickly reach many thousands of sympathetic people who can be your eyes and ears.
Vets Get Scanning
Kennel Club
Pet Theft

Trawl through places and websites where dogs are sold such as Gumtree.

Never give up hope as dogs sometimes turn up many years after being stolen. It only takes a warden or vet to scan your dog which had been sold to an unsuspecting buyer.
This can result in an ownership dispute so please retain all images of your dog which could be used as evidence. The police often regard dog theft disputes as “civil matters”  and some recent cases have been settled in court.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

It could happen to you!

For the victims the nightmare is only over once their dog has been returned.

You might think “it will happen to someone else” but thousands of valuable working dogs are taken each year and never returned. Be vigilant and be aware that dogs are being stolen by professional gangs as well as opportunists.

Dawn Maw’s gundog Angel was stolen from under her nose as she was putting her other three dogs into the back of her car in December 2012
Read her story:

Read other accounts