National Dog Warden Association (NDWA)
1984 - 2019

Does Dog Theft Action Think Dog Wardens Are Stupid?

Sat, 01 Dec 2007

Neil Burton Dog Warden

In response to an article found at :

The recent article written by Nick Mays, DTA Advisor and Chief Reporter of Our Dogs Newspaper entitled ‘DOG THEFT POLITICAL LOBBY LAUNCHED ‘Dogs don’t’ just disappear - they are out there somewhere’ makes interesting reading and possibly shows an insight into what DTA members think of Dog Wardens.

The process of disseminating information in regard to lost and found dogs is an extremely vital one and a major contributory factor in reuniting lost dogs. DTA are to be applauded for joining the myriad of other agencies and organisations already in existence that exchange information regarding lost and found dogs.

In regard to the aims of DTA in relation to the matter of dog theft and also those irresponsible members of the public who find a dog and fail to notify (at present the Police) and the Local Authority where the dog was found.

Local Authorities contrary to what DTA think DO keep a Register of Lost dogs, the DTA advisory Panel (including the Dog Warden representative) need to get hold of a copy of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and check out Section 149 (8) that states:

‘The officer shall keep a register containing the prescribed particulars of or relating to dogs seized under this section and the register shall be available, at all reasonable times, for inspection by the public free of charge’

If this is not already a requirement under EPA for all Local Authorities to keep a register, what is it?

DTA wishes to encourage all Local authorities to invest in scanning equipment and use it appropriately and correctly. As a lot of LA’s carry out micro-chipping as part of their ongoing responsible dog ownership campaigns, they would presumably have and use both appropriately and correctly microchip scanners! Those Dog Warden Services that do not carry scanners in their vans presumably get seized dogs scanned at the holding kennels when processing the dog?

In regard to the aim of getting the police to change the present procedure of recording missing/stolen dogs, DTA will need to be quick to get the police to deal with missing/lost dogs as the legislative change that removes the police from having any dealing with dogs is on its way.

As dogs are classed as chattels and should they be stolen it is theft, the police will hopefully still deal with the matter of dogs reported stolen and investigate accordingly as they do for other stolen items or animals?

In regard to DTA ensuring that the public know what to do in regard to stray dogs. This is something that a lot of Dog Warden Services already inform the public in their area on a daily basis? Section 150 (5) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 states:

‘If the finder of a dog fails to comply with the requirements of subsection (1) or (3) above ((1) states that the finder must return the dog or take it to the Dog Warden or the police, (3) informs the finder that they must keep the dog if they wish to keep it for not less than one month) he shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 2 on the standard scale’

NDWA has in the past published in Dog Warden News a feature entitled ‘Found Dog Syndrome’ this dealt with the phenomenon of finders being convinced that a found dog has naturally been ‘abandoned’, especially pedigree breeds, DTA’s article carried the secondary heading ‘Dog’s don’t just disappear – they are out there somewhere’ they might find that some have been kept by finders experiencing Found Dog Syndrome.

An example of this could be a recent Email regarding a dog that had run off from an owner, in the description it was written that the dog had originally some time ago wandered into the garden and looked like it could have belonged to Gypsies? Hopefully the ‘owner;’ contacted the police and the relevant Local Authority and the dog was recorded and entered into the register as a Section 150 dog?

If not is there a person out there who has lost their dog and does not know what has happened to it whilst the new ‘owner’ has kept a dog on the presumption that it could have belonged to Gypsies, don’t they have rights as dog owners as well?

The NDWA supports all systems of identification currently available in the United Kingdom if it means that any or each of those systems enables lost and found dogs to be reunited with their owners. The wider picture of where those lost dogs that are never traced are could lie with the fact that some are indeed stolen but a whole lot more are just kept illegally by finders and the authorities are never notified.

Dog Warden Services irrespective of whether or not they are members of the NDWA operate within the law and if they are required to keep a register, they keep one? If in doubt perhaps DTA should supply statistics of those Local Authorities that do not?
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