Updated: May 17
Message from National Neighbourhood Watch
Our supporters have told us that they are increasingly concerned about dog theft. In response to this, we are launching a PROTECT YOUR POOCHcampaign to run from 17th – 30thMay. The campaign will run on our social media channels and we have produced a poster which can be printed and displayed within your local communities. We will also be running a dog theft webinar on 27th May at 5pm-6.30pm. Please read on for more details on each aspect of the campaign and how you can support:
SECURE, IN SIGHT, AND SEARCHABLE
In a recent survey of dog owners (April 2021) conducted by the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC), respondents reported being increasingly aware of the risk of dog theft since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, with 96% stating they were extremely or very aware of this issue. 75% of dog owners reported having taken additional actions to protect their dogs from theft over the last 12 months.
Our dog theft campaign focuses on ways to keep your dog safe, with the key message of Keep your dog SECURE, IN SIGHT, and SEARCHABLE. The landing page on our website with more information ourwatch.org.uk/protectyourpooch will go live on 17thMay when we launch the campaign.
The Met Police and Crimestoppers will be supporting us in this message and we have co-branded campaign assets which reference keeping your dog SECURE, INSIGHT, SEARCHABLE.
LET’S MAKE PET THEFT A SPECIFIC CRIMINAL OFFENCE
In addition to this we are also, for the first time, asking our supporters to LOBBY FOR A CHANGE IN THE LAW. At present, dog theft is not defined as a specific crime, with dogs classed as ‘property’ under the Theft Act 1968. If caught, the penalty for stealing pets is generally a small fine or suspended sentence, with the Pet Theft Reform campaign reporting that in recent years only 1% of dog theft crimes have led to a prosecution. At the moment most police forces are unable to distinguish between theft of a dog and theft of other property, therefore the true extent of dog theft cannot be understood.
To help make pet theft a specific criminal offence we are encouraging our supporters to:
sign this petition to make dog theft a specific criminal offence. Please note: this petition closes on 20th May
write to your parliamentary representative using The Kennel Clubs dog theft template letter lending your support and letting them know how they can help
raise awareness about the issue - by letting others know about the issue we have more opportunity to keep dogs safe all across the country
Please note: The MET Police and Crimestoppers are unable to support us in our lobbying request. We are in discussion with the APCC regarding their support of both parts of the campaign. Due to elections they cannot commit until 13th May. Should they be able to support, all or part of, our campaign we will co-brand those specific assets with their logo in time to launch on 17thMay.
HOW CAN YOU SUPPORT THE CAMPAIGN?
SHARE OUR PRESS RELEASE We are sharing a press release with you now which is EMBARGOED TO 17TH MAY. Please reach out to your press contacts to run the story on or after 17th May.
LOBBY FOR CHANGE In our May newsletter launching on 10th May, we are letting our supporters know the campaign is coming and asking them to act now and help make pet theft a specific offence.
SHARE OUR MESSAGES ON SOCIAL MEDIA On 17th May, we will launch the campaign on our social media channels and with an all-supporter email. We encourage you to follow our Facebook /Twitter / Instagram / LinkedInpages and share our posts to your groups and pages to reach your communities. Sharing our posts is the simplest way to support the week on social media. It also enables us to better monitor and report on engagement levels. However, if you would prefer a social media pack to create your own social posts, do let us know by emailingDeborah.email@example.com. Please note: we can only issue this on 14th May once we have confirmation from the APCC on their support.
DISPLAY A POSTER We have created a poster which can be displayed within your communities to help raise awareness and direct people to our website page for more information.
ATTEND OUR DOG THEFT WEBINAR We will be running a dog theft webinar with supporting partners on 27th May, 5pm on Zoom. The webinar will be an opportunity for you to learn more about the current issues surrounding dog theft, how to keep your pets safe and what to do if you become a victim of dog theft.
On 10th May, in our May OUR NEWS newsletter, we will be letting our supporters know the campaign is coming and asking them to sign the petition now to help make pet theft a specific criminal offence.
On 17th May we will send an all-supporter email to launch the campaign and ask people to support it by:
Sharing our social media posts to their community
Acting on our advice on our landing page
Displaying a poster in their community
Signing the petition
Attend our Dog Theft Webinar on 27th May, 5pm
If you have any questions, or wish to discuss the campaign please get in touch with Deborah Waller on 07495 415380 orDeborah.firstname.lastname@example.org