I read today in The Courier of yet another dog that had been stolen. This time it was a yellow coloured Lakeland terrier stolen from Perthshire. It was a well-planned theft as the padlock on the kennel had been cut with bolt cutters and in fact it was the second terrier to have been stolen from the same kennels. A border terrier was recently stolen from my home village and a friend of mine had a terrier stolen some years ago. For someone’s pet – or even a working dog – to be stolen must be a nightmare.
The fate of these dogs is unknown, but the options are that they could be used for intensive breeding (maybe the best option); used against foxes or badgers, or used as live ‘bait dogs’ to train pit bull terriers and other fighting dogs. While none of the options are pleasant, the last option makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end. People involved in badger digging, fox digging for sport or dog fighting are the lowest of the low. I have written of them before but I cannot stress enough the type of low-life that they are.
Although we are primarily a unit dealing with wildlife crime, we get frequent intelligence at the National Wildlife Crime Unit regarding stolen dogs, dog fighting and of people who are suspected of owning pit bull terriers. There is also regular intelligence on badger baiting and digging out foxes that sometimes make me feel physically sick. How people that are supposed to be human can inflict such wanton cruelty on wild animals or dogs is quite honestly beyond me. Not satisfied with setting their dogs on wildlife, or other dogs or cats, they take photographs and videos which they often publish on line. No doubt many are also involved in violence towards their family and other humans. The intelligence certainly tends to confirm this.
So a word of warning to all dog owners. Please ensure that your dog is micro-chipped and that it is as secure as it possibly can be at all times. Report any suspicious persons who you think may be intent on stealing a dog to the police immediately and likewise if you suspect anyone to be involved in dog theft, badger digging or dog fighting. Let’s hope that the Lakeland terrier in the Courier story is recovered soon and that those who took her are brought to justice.