The NGO has today (Friday 12 February) written to all Police and Crime Commissioners in England and Wales to call for a national intelligence register, or officer, to help tackle the apparent increase in dog theft that is happening nationwide.
Dogs are often found hundreds of miles from where they are taken. The NGO is therefore calling on the support of Police and Crime Commissioners to help create a targeted approach at a local police level that uses information from a national intelligence register. This would help to co-ordinate a nationwide response to what appears to be a nationwide problem.
Liam Bell, Chairman of the NGO, said:
“The theft of dogs from homes is not a new crime but one that seems to be increasing in all regions of the UK. The effect a theft of a companion animal has is devastating and the loss, for many, can often be the same as losing a family member.
“This loss is compounded further when the theft involves a working dog. These dogs are not only a member of a family, but also a vital member of a work team and business.
“Gamekeepers and farmers rely on working dogs to enable them to carry out their work. When working dogs are stolen it has a huge negative financial as well as emotional impact.”
Over recent months, the NGO has heard ever-increasing reports of working and domestic dogs being stolen.
Liam Bell, continued:
“We want people to get behind this campaign and hope PCCs will support our endeavour to try to stamp out this crime. We want to help increase the number of dogs who are returned safely to their owners and therefore call for a national lead to be put in post as soon as possible.”
The National Gamekeepers’ Organisation represents gamekeepers, deer stalkers and recreational shooters in England and Wales. Many members own working dogs of all types of breed.