Just a few short days ago I started tweeting. I had never done it before and didn't know what to expect. But please bear with me, whilst I explain a situation that I discovered on Twitter and has opened my eyes wide.
Every day I have seen more and more tweets begging for help to find stolen dogs, so many in fact that my Twitter feed gets jam-packed around 11pm GMT / 6pm EST. You see it is a fact that incidences of dog theft have been climbing rapidly over the last 5 years to, frankly, ridiculous levels. Dogs, like antiques and cars, are being stolen to order!
The devastation this is having on the owners and their families is horrendous and their beloved pets / 4-legged family members are suffering huge separation anxiety at the very least and may be causing the death of dogs that are on various medications, but the thieves are unaware of their medical conditions and so the dogs go without their life-saving drugs. This theft is, without doubt, a disgusting and sickening crime.
The dogs are then sold on to possibly unsuspecting new families, who at some point in the future, take their 'new' pet to a veterinary clinic for a check-up or treatment of some kind, or suddenly discover their pet dead within days from an unknown medical condition (lack of regular medication).
How would YOU feel if the stolen pet was actually yours? Think about it, imagine it, feel the pain.
Now there is a very helpful solution that is being hugely overlooked and that is Microchipping. Yes, all puppies born in the UK must and should be, by law, microchipped, plus many older dogs are also microchipped and the new owners details entered into the national database. BUT, this where the system falls apart because when someone brings a dog to the vets, the dog is not routinely scanned and the data checked against the national database.
Why not?? God and the Universe may know why, but I do not. This is madness. What is the point of having microchipped pets and data stored in a national database, but almost no-one using that data to place dogs with their registered owners! It smells badly of a 'stealth tax' just to extract more money from the pockets of pet owners, with very little practical usage after the microchip has been inserted.
If there was ever a need for Government legislation it is here and it is now.
We should be demanding that at the start of every pet visit to the veterinary clinic, a scan be done and the data checked against the database and the person who is accompanying the pet must answer a few short questions to verify that data. Vets must be encouraged to report any lack of data correlation to a central authority, the police or another body established to make further enquiries and to reunite stolen pets with their original families. The money made from microchipping, or at least a portion of it, should be funneled into an authoritative body to enforce this.
How can YOU help?
OK my friends, the time has come to Stand Up and Be Counted.
Spread this message far and wide. Facebook it. Tweet it. Instagram it. Pinterest it. LinkedIn it. Tumblr it. Imgur it. Text it. PM it. Email it. Hand-write it and post it. Talk about it to everyone and most importantly GET THIS MESSAGE IN FRONT OF YOUR LOCAL MP ! and into the hands of every journalist you can think of.
Do not take disinterest as an answer. The solution to a horrible problem is actually really simple. But to make it happen we must ALL stand up and shout it out in anyway that we can think of.
The good news is that the ball is already rolling. There are many calling for this scanning to become mandatory. But their voices are too quiet. Let us gather together, each and every one of us, of YOU, and let the politicians and media know that this crazy situation MUST BE CORRECTED and FAST.
So please, get on social media right now - on every platform that you are a member of. Shout it out and please add the hashtag #SCANDalous to every message you send.
Thank you for listening to my rant, just for you reading this I am hugely grateful. But the real gratitude will be in your heart and in the hearts of the stolen pet and original owners, when the two are reunited once more.