Dog Theft Awareness Day hosted by MP Gareth Johnson on 14th March 2017 was a great success. This topic hits many people from all walks of life and this was appreciated and supported by many MPs. As we move forward it’s good to know we have this very important backing.
Around 50 MPs supported Dog Theft Awareness Day at Westminster. Organised by the Stolen and Missing Pets Alliance and hosted by Dartford MP, Gareth Johnson, the day highlighted the growing crime of dog theft and the devastating impact on owners.
Gareth Johnson opened the day by saying: “Dog theft is a particularly nasty crime which causes great distress to the owners and to the dogs themselves.
“It is a rising issue in this country with hundreds of dogs being stolen every year. Too often dogs that are stolen are simply reported as missing and very few are ever returned to their owners.”
The day gave MPs the opportunity to hear about the issues from SAMPA members DogLost, Vets Get Scanning, Pet Theft Awareness and Dog Union as well as victims of dog theft, the police and dog wardens.
MPs were then asked to pledge their support for tougher sentencing for dog theft; reclassification of dog theft crime and compulsory scanning of microchips.
Paul O’Grady, actor Peter Egan and Sir Bruce Forsyth CBE sent messages of support, and Talk Radio broadcaster Paul Ross told everyone: “Dog theft is a cruel and callous crime that tears the heart out of families – a vile act perpetrated by evil people. Time to make the punishment fit the crime.”
TV vet, Marc Abraham said: “Dog theft is a growing crime in this country, with all dogs of any size and breed being vulnerable; basically no dog is safe. In my opinion as a profession vets have a duty to educate dog owners of the dangers of dog theft, how best to protect their four legged friends, as well as scanning and checking microchips to help reunite stolen, stray, and missing dogs, as well as dogs that have been sold on.”
Nik Oakley for DogLost and SAMPA said: “The crime is largely unpunished as few cases reach court, and because dogs are regarded as goods any sentence reflects the value of the dog not the impact on the victim who has lost a member of their family.
“Police statistics vary across the country and are simply the tip of the iceberg. They show how a force records dog theft rather than the size of the problem. Neither do they record the crime of ‘theft by finding’ where a dog goes missing and is picked up and sold on or kept as a pet or for breeding. “Until scanning of microchips is compulsory by vets, rescues and other authorities there can be no guarantee that a dog will be reunited with its rightful owner.”
Vets Get Scanning’s Debbie Matthews said: “Dog theft is a crime that affects many and scares all dog owners, many of who contacted MPs asking them to attend.
“We had a steady stream of MPs, many of who are dog owners themselves so they totally understood the issues and that we need better deterrents in place to stop dog thieves and compulsory scanning of microchips to help reunite dog and owner.”
List of supporting MPs
Gareth Johnson MP
Cheryl Gilham MP
James Morris MP
Lord Trees. (Didn’t sign)
Mark Williams MP
Luke Hall MP
Margaret Ferrier MP
Desmond Swayne MP
Helen Grant MP
Mike Penning MP
Rosie Cooper MP
Roger Gale MP
John Pugh MP
Byron Davies MP
Steven Barclay MP
Andrew Rosindell MP
Sir David Amess MP
Mark Spencer MP
Bill Esterson MP
Scott Mann MP
Christina Rees MP
Matthew Offord MP
Gavin Robinson MP
Geraint Davies MP
Sir Alan Meale MP
John Stevenson MP
Craig Williams MP
Rt Hon. Gavin Williamson MP Chief Whip (Not allowed to sign)
Phillip Dunne MP
Liz Saville Roberts MP
Neil Carmichael MP
Richard Fuller MP
David Nuttall MP
Sir Paul Beresford MP
Fiona Bruce MP
Kate Green MP
Simon Hart MP
Justin Madders MP
David Morris MP
Rishi Sunak MP
Craig Tracey MP
Mark Williams MP
Craig Mackinlay MP
Edward Argar MP
Andrew Bridgen MP
Mary Glindon MP
Chris Davies MP
John Spellar MP
DOG THEFT AWARENESS DAY (Template letter for your MP)
Make sure your MP attends
On 14 March 2017, the Stolen and Missing Pets Alliance will be in Parliament meeting MPs for Dog Theft Awareness Day. The drop in event is hosted by MP Gareth Johnson. SAMPA will be telling MPs why their support is vital in tackling the growing crime of dog theft. We need as many MPs to attend as possible, can you help us by asking your MP to join us on the day?
It’s really easy, here’s what to do:
Find your MP, enter your postcode and hit next. Feel free to use the template below, including your experience of dog theft.
MPs are far more likely to come and find out about dog theft if they are invited by their constituents: your help could go a long way.
Sample email: include your name, address and postcode. If you are the owner of a missing dog please include your story with a poster that your MP can add to the photo call on the day.
Dear _____ MP,
I am getting in touch to invite you to join The Stolen and Missing Pets Alliance at a drop in event and photo call for Dog Theft Awareness Day on 14th March 2017. It will be in Room R, Portcullis House, 12.00 – 15.00.
Dog Theft has risen by 24% in the last three years and no-one is safe from the crime which hits families, the elderly, the disabled and the homeless. Tougher sentences, better detection and compulsory scanning of microchips can all help bring this down.
As my Member of Parliament I would be grateful if you could attend this event and speak to a representative from The Stolen and Missing Pets Alliance and a victim of dog theft to find out how you can support these issues. You can RSVP at email@example.com.
Prefer to tweet? You can use the example below, getting your MPs Twitter address from http://tweetyourmp.com/
[@MPname] as my MP, please join @sampauk_ for #DogTheftAwarenessDay on 14 March in Room R, Portcullis House 1200-1500
Let us know if you need any help and don’t forget to pass on any responses, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for all your support!