You’ve probably seen the Nissan White Van story in Dorset that has been circulating Facebook. The good news is that NO DOG SNATCHINGS have been reported. The bad news is that it is unlikely that the police or council will take any action based on heresay and no actual dog snatchings.
But where does this leave us dog parents who are feeling confused and scared to take our dogs out?
Remain calm. Your dog will pick up on any signs of anxiety. Take deep breaths into your belly and out through your nose and focus your attention on where your breath is flowing. This will keep you grounded. You are no use to your dog if you've already left your body in fear.
Keep vigilant. The above breath exercise will also help with this as if you’re tense and scared you’ll likely miss or confuse things. Stay off your phone when dog walking.
DO NOT leave your dog tied up outside anywhere or alone in the car. Make sure your garden is secure and your dog is supervised. Gangs are reported to leave chalk markings on nearby curbs of targeted houses.
Teach your dog RECALL - there are some great training classes in Dorset. Pop a request for a recommendation on our Facebook dog community group www.facebook.com/groups/dogfriendlydorset
Contact the police and dog warden if you see any suspicious activity. Contact numbers below. Even if no action is taken by them, the more reports the more likely when something does happen, they will have what they need to pursue the information.
Vary the times and places of your walks. Avoid known sightings areas for the time being: Tuckton Tea Gardens, Hengistbury Head, Tuckton tesco and co-op.
If your dog is stolen contact the police and insist that it is reported as a theft and not lost. Ask for a crime reference number. Contact your local dog warden and those of the neighbouring areas as it is likely the dog snatchers will move dogs as far away and as quickly as they can.
Speak to a friend or comment on our Facebook group for support. This is a stressful time and we need to help each other to remain calm and to deal compassionately with our emotions.
Report the loss to the microchip database so that if anyone tried to re-register the chip you will be notified.
Make posters and display a clear photograph and details. Post these online on all lost/found & rescue pages, at your local vets and vets in neighbouring boroughs in case your dog is take in. At rescue centres, supermarkets and outside parks.
Losing a pet is a traumatic and terrible time. Contact Blue Cross Support Line for Bereavement Help 0800 096 6606
Lost dogs: Dog Warden Christchurch: 01202795185 (after hours 01202795000)
Animal Welfare Bournemouth 01202451306
Police emergency 999
Police non-emergency 101
Dorset Police Community Hub: 01202 222222
All we know so far… and thank you to members of Dog Friendly Dorset Facebook Group for providing this info…
is that a handwritten notice was left outside Tuckton Tea Gardens warning of dog snatchers. Some suspicious behaviour was viewed by various sources of a man and a woman in a white Nissan van around Tuckton and Hengistbury Head. And the same white van and couple were spotted by the school on Green Lane BH10.
Dog snatching is not a new thing. It happens all the time and nationwide. The best protection is being vigilant but this is not an easy thing in a modern world where the majority of people are caught up in their thoughts or on their phone. If you'd like to join our monthly meditation class to help you to stay calm and vigilant pop over to my workshops page xx