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Dog Knapping…Prevent Your Dog Becoming One of Many Stolen This Year.

Lost Dogs-Dog Knapping

Is one of the fastest growing crimes in the UK, resulting in 40,000 owners being robbed of their pets.

The worst areas for lost dogs-dog knapping, covers Kent, Sussex and Surrey, where about 500 animals have gone missing in the past year.

Thieves sometimes demand thousands of pounds for the return of a stolen dog. Ransoms used to be about £200, now £1,000 is common and one owner was recently asked for £8,000.

Ruthless thieves have threatened to cut dogs to pieces, or pull out their claws to increase the pressure on owners. In a recent case the thief tried to remove an ID chip implanted under the dog’s skin with a potato peeler.

Thieves also steal pedigree dogs for breeding purposes to profit from their crime.

The Founder of www.doglost.co.uk Jayne Hayes, had her dog Hermy stolen and has now turned “stolen dog detective”, running her website to help other owners to find their missing pets. Hermy was eventually rescued, after a passer-by spotted one of the many posters she had circulated in her neighbourhood.

Jayne said: “Unless it has happened to you, you can’t imagine the devastation. It’s like having your heart ripped out, it’s the not knowing that really gets to you.”

Pets Reunited So far she has reunited 1,200 pets with their owners and her success continues.

“The more helpers we get on board, the more success we’ll have,” says Jayne. “We need more eyes and ears.” Her dream is to have a helper on every street.

Within minutes of registering, a missing dog will appear on the website and posters are then produced for printing and distribution by the owners.

Some 5,000 volunteers then go into action, distributing posters and reporting sightings. The missing dog’s details can even be sent to every local vet, kennel and dog warden.

Three Main Types of Lost Dog-Dog Knapping Have Been Identified:-

  • Drug addicts who snatch pets and then sell them in pubs for £50 each.
  • Heartless thieves who exploit the owner’s distress by demanding a ransom for the return of their pet.
  • Organised crooks, who steal animals to order. They travel the country targeting pedigree dogs such as Staffordshire bull terriers, Labradors, Border terriers and Lurchers.

How Can I Protect My Dog From Being Dog Knapped?

  • Have your dog micro chipped and tattooed. Both precautions are painless and cost between £9 and £35. A positive identification of your pet can then be made and could result in it’s safe return.
  • By law all dogs must wear a collar and identity tag – Don’t reveal the dog’s name, but include your address & telephone number, or use the contact details of a tracking company instead of your own.
  • Take clear photographs of your dog, both front and side views and make detailed notes of any uncommon markings.
  • Never leave your dog tied up outside your home, or at the shops and keep your dog in view in the garden, otherwise you are putting your pet at risk.
  • Check the security of your garden fencing and fit an alarm to your gate, so that you are aware of an intruder’s approach.
  • Don’t leave your dog unattended in a car.
  • Train your dog not to run out of sight on walks, or in the park, as thieves just take a few seconds to snatch it. Use an extending lead if the dog doesn’t obey.
  • Vary the times and routes for your walk .
  • Don’t discuss your pet with strangers or give details e.g. unusual breed or pedigree, as your dog could then become a target.

Dog Theft Action (DTA) Is a new initiative set up in January 2005 by Margaret Nawrockyi, Brian Milligan and Jayne Hayes. It is a pressure group which aims to lobby as many organisations as possible( e.g.the police, dog wardens, RSPCA, local authorities, dog sanctuaries etc.).

The group draws their attention to lost dogs-dog knapping in all its forms and encourages them to collate and share information, about missing and found dogs in the UK.

To Join The Team of Lost Dogs UK Volunteers or for further information, click on this link:-  


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