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Risk of Dognapping?

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This website has been notified by a concerned resident, after some homeowners in Haddenham have found strange chalk-like markings on their properties.

These marks may be totally innocuous — perhaps having been left by children.

However, it has also been suggested that they may have been put there by criminals to denote easy or attractive targets for 'dognappers'.

The Country Land Association, which represents owners of country land and rural businesses, is warning its members to be extra vigilant.

CLA South East Director Robin Edwards said "Dogs are targeted by thieves because they can easily make money selling them on, often for breeding or, most distressingly, for fighting."

Recent changes in the law now require all dogs to be micro-chipped, however vets report that a significant number of dogs have yet to be identified in this way.

The CLA is urging dog owners to cut the risk of theft by ensuring their animal is micro-chipped and wears a collar and ID tag, with full contact details.

According to a police spokesman: "Our advice to dog owners is not to leave pets unattended in a garden or exercise area which is not completely secure and ensure there are no gaps in fences or unlocked gates which could be left open.

"We would recommend that dogs are kept on a lead in public places and owners should also comply with the law by ensuring that their pets are micro-chipped and that they have an up to date photograph of them — therefore if they are stolen or lost, they are easy to identify if found."

"However if anyone believes their dog has been stolen, not lost, they should report it to us at once by calling 101 with as much detail as possible; or dial 999 if you have just witnessed a theft take place or in an emergency."

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