Cocker spaniels are the breed most targeted by thieves but all working dogs are at risk
By Joe Dimbleby
Wednesday, 25 August 2010
DogLost reports a preseason surge in gundog thefts as Shooting Times launches its free lost-and-found dog service
Last month saw a huge increase in reports of working gundog thefts, which have almost doubled in the past year according to DogLost, the national organisation that helps owners find missing dogs. The most targeted dogs are lurchers and cocker spaniels, though all breeds are potential targets for thieves. Jane Hayes of DogLost said: “We have an average of 100 to 120 dogs reported missing every week. Eighty per cent are stolen and the majority are working dogs. I would say the number of thefts reported has doubled in the past year.”
Thieves are targeting kennels and gundog trainers in search of trained gundogs, which can fetch thousands of pounds. It is not known where the majority of stolen dogs end up but Jane Hayes believes many are being sold on to newcomers to shooting who are looking for ready-trained gundogs, explaining the surge in the run-up to the season. She said: “I would urge anyone buying a dog to ask for the paperwork and check it thoroughly. I am amazed by how many people discover a dog they have paid for belongs to someone else after a scan at the vet reveals a microchip.”
The rest of this article appears in 25th August issue of Shooting Times.
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