Fran’s research provided evidence that from the 1700s dog theft was classed as a specific crime until the Theft Act 1968 when the dog was relegated to chattel.

FARNHAM resident Fran McWade, who studied a degree in psychology and criminology in 2014, was delighted to be given the opportunity to present extracts from her dissertation – ‘The First Academic Perspective of Dog Theft’, at the Dog Theft Awareness Day event at Portcullis House, Westminster.The event was hosted by Gareth Johnson, MP for Dartford who is supporting the campaign for compulsory scanning, tougher sentencing and the reclassification of dog theft.
More than 40 MPs from all over the country attended and pledged their support for the campaign and they were able to hear first hand from victims of the crime, members of police forces and reunification volunteers.
“I am honoured and thrilled that my work is being used for Pet Theft Awareness and that I am able to help fight against this crime,” said Fran.
“While writing my dissertation I came up with several criminological theories which can help explain the rise in dog theft, I looked at the role the media has to play, but most importantly I uncovered the most significant discovery, an act for preventing the stealing of dogs.
“Currently in the UK if a dog is stolen then the dog is regarded as chattel (property). However, in the 1700s when the act was first introduced dogs had their own protection under the law.
“Those who stole dogs would be imprisoned, receive a hefty fine or were forced into hard labour. Now-a-days if you steal a dog it’s very rare it goes to court let alone receive any form of punishment.”
Fran’s research provided evidence that from the 1700s dog theft was classed as a specific crime until the Theft Act 1968 when the dog was relegated to chattel.
Her discovery is something everyone who is fighting for tougher sentencing and reclassification has dreamed off.
Arnot Wilson, a member of the Stolen and Missing Pet Alliance (SAMPA), which organised the event, said: “This study by Fran is a valuable piece of work which can be used by criminologists and those that are fighting for better legislation. It is great to see the younger generation taking the problem of dog theft seriously.”
On a final note Fran said: “We need more people to become involved. The first step is awareness. Make everyone aware of the dangers of dog theft and the importance of preventing the crime.
“Each dog owner is responsible in preventing this happening, do not give anyone the opportunity to steal your dog. Let’s support Dog Theft Awareness, let’s make stolen dogs too hot to handle, advise your friends, neighbours and strangers of the dangers around them, but most importantly be responsible for your dog.”
http://www.farnhamherald.com/article.cfm?id=118301
Pictured:-  Fran McWade with TV Vet and Animal Welfare Campaigner #WheresMum #PupAid Marc Abrahams. 
#DogTheftAwarenessDay 

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ARTICLE IN DOGS MONTHLY MAGAZINE

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