Friday, 11 November 2016

Gundogs are Targets for Thieves!

An American perspective by guest blogger from USA: Amber Kingsley

The popular shooting website ShootingUK reminded their readers about Gun Dog Theft Awareness week in October and reported a steep rise of these uniquely trained canines as a specific target for thieves. According to their sources at the Country Land and Business Association, there was a sharp increase in the theft of hunting dogs in the first three months of the year in 2016.

Almost any dog with special skills, talents or come from pure bloodlines can be a bigger target, but apparently, gun dogs account for more than 10% of all canine thefts across England and Wales. Whether this is tied to the occurrence of hunting season, usually in the autumn and spring months, or simply part of a rising trend, it’s difficult to tell for certain.

Statistics on pet theft can be blurry at best and along with attempting to ascertain the reasoning of the thieves at large other than pure profit. Both are difficult to understand, but others believe stolen pets are being used to train other dogs inside illegal fighting rings.
Arnot Wilson, former director of The Dog Union, offers some reassurance to the monetary point of view and reasoning behind the skewed statistics. “Social media may have inflated our awareness of dog theft but until we can get accurate statistics,” laments Wilson, “We would be foolish not to assume that gun dogs are a resalable commodity.”

A and B Class Controversy In The USA
The sport of hunting itself is not without controversy, while some believe it’s an unnecessary method of killing animals, others support the practice of a way to keep some predators away from our homes, farms and livestock. Wherever you stand on the subject, the situation is still remains the same when it comes to having our dogs stolen from their rightful owners.

The United States seems to be having similar problems when it comes to dognapping and pet theft and some blame a system of animal sales defined by classes A and B. Pet dealers with a class A license must adhere to a specific set of rules and prove their animals come from a defined breeding colony, which includes a paper trail. On the other hand, those with a B class can obtain their animals from “random sources.”

The term “random sources” is so loosely defined, this could be an enormous loophole that thieves are using to pass off pets they’ve acquired through legal sources. Think of it this way, with or without a pet dealer’s license, regardless of your country of origin, dognappers can still sell animals to unsuspecting buyers who may not be aware they’re accepting stolen property. While legitimate breeders can show proof of pure bloodlines, a thief can also show a gun dog’s prowess with a quick demonstration of their skills, without paperwork to prove their origin.

It’s us as consumers to be more aware and deny the acquisition of animals that come from questionable sources. The back of a van, those found on the internet, at flea markets or other outlets aren’t a place you should consider purchasing a pet. We can help prevent the theft of pets by not buying from anyone or any place other than a licensed breeder or shelter.

Read more pet related blogs from Amber Kingsley

Graphics from the Gundog Theft Awareness Week 2017

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