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Missing or Stolen Puppy

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BrianW Report 30 Nov 2017 19:37

Thank you for the advice Rollo.
One thing I have done, following your previous comment about the possibility of a chip being deactivated is to suggest to Canine Partners that they mark puppies in a recognizable way with an indelible marker pen so that if one is lost and a "possible" turns up and ownership is in doubt or it is in the hands of a rescue centre, police etc. then there is an identifying mark to start on.

I also contacted the RCVS to inquire if they had a policy for their members to do any checks on identity if an older pup is registered with a vet but have not had the courtesy of a reply.

Today the Queen visited Canine Partners HQ in Sussex so staff have been tied up with that for a couple of days. Hopefully she left a donation suitable for her status. Prince Harry has had previous contact through his work with disabled service personnel.


RolloTheRed Report 29 Nov 2017 17:24

I am no dog expert but do have a fair bit of experience in recovering stuff that has gone awol - data, documents, people, key items of equipment., vehicles You would be amazed at what people lose track of and where it ends up..

Some things I have learned are not very surprising but difficut for many to accept,

1. You have to start with what information you have got not that which you wished you had. A lot of this information is very often ignored for one reason and another.

In the case of Opal try and reconstruct her movements over the week before she disappeared as much as you can. The same for anybody who came into contact with Opal esp inc the puppy parents and walkers. Surprisingly often bona fide people have had contact with the thieves even though they were unaware of it. That is why the police trawl anything and everybody not nailed down when they have difficult cases. It is the chain of contact you need to follow.

Dogs such as this are rarely stolen on the off chance. Far more likely she was being watched and chance taken, maybe even made. Get copies of any video still avail and go through it minutely - you will be looking for out of place vans, people even a dog. Follow up any such leads,

2. Consider the motivation. It will nearly always be money so that offers of reward should give some traction. If it does not then consider: do people who have info have another better proposition or are they plain scared? It is possible that Opal has been grabbed by the Irish dog breeding racket. Any reward offer should give some indication of the amount "substantial" means different things to different people. Conditions matter - "info leading to" has a better chance than "recovery of" on its own. Is the reward offer getting to the right people who by definition are going to be some kind of low life / violent people or controled by such. Make sure there is an anonymous contact point available. Support all major languages used in the Midlands - your target may have poor or no English.

3. An important vector in recovering animals is people who deal with them - vets, shelter keepers, police, customs and so on. They are very busy but can also be very helpful if asked in the right way and given key data. The people with the chip record will be aware if the chip data has been accessed from which the location within a bit can be worked out using ip.

4. This kind of search has around a 50% success rate. It requires a lot of hard and persistent work. Costs can mount very quickly. If the object of interest has insurance against theft the ins companies will always make a contribuition.

4. You may have to take some risks.

5. Consider carefully how you would avoid a repeat experience. Once dumb twice shy.

6. With people it is possible to make matches based on pretty poor images on disk using such techniques as facial recognition. I have no idea if this sort of thing has been tried with valuable animals. Quite possibly.

Here is a url to start you off anyway.

good luck, I wouldn't give up.


Barbra Report 28 Nov 2017 23:04

My Son has a face book account I have sent the link to him re missing Opal .he has friends up & down the country Plymouth ,.Glasgow. Burton .Manchester might help he will send details through face book .she could be anywhere Barbara

 Sue In Yorkshire.

Sue In Yorkshire. Report 28 Nov 2017 17:12

Brian W.
There is a new programme on missing dogs on Channel 4 .
Have a look at their website to see if you can get help from them.


RolloTheRed Report 28 Nov 2017 14:29

Given the high cost of training and so on do you insure for the global cost i.e. £ 20 K ?

Poor Opal. Her fate is in the lap of the gods.


Barbra Report 28 Nov 2017 11:25

keep hoping someone will find her <3


BrianW Report 25 Nov 2017 17:38

Four weeks and nothing !!!
Still hoping, though.


RolloTheRed Report 12 Nov 2017 18:39

The law in England and Wales requires that dogs be kept on a lead on the public highway ie roads and footpaths. That's it. Elsewhere dog access to the countryside has only the civil duty that the dog must be under reasonable control. A properly trained dog will not need a lead esp collies and labradors. Access to public parks and beaches is controlled by local by law not the RTA. Most towns have areas where dogs can run freely plus beaches outside of summer months.

Theft is theft. If somebody makes a mistake eg keys in ignition, phone left in a bar, purse or wallet dropped, dog runs away that makes no difference to ownership at law. Of course insurers may demur to shell out it depends on the policy. However whoever has taken Opal is a thief. Also by now guilty of animal cruelty.

 Sue In Yorkshire.

Sue In Yorkshire. Report 12 Nov 2017 16:34

Sorry for Opal's loss but how can you say she has been stolen.
It was the fault of the person/people who were training her.
For one thing she should have been on a Lead (by Law) and kept being trained to walk to the lead.


BrianW Report 12 Nov 2017 08:04

A fortnight on and still no news.
I have contacted the RCVS to as whether they have any sort of system for alerting their members but am awaiting a response.
In the meantime, please keep sharing on Facebook and other social media sites.


RolloTheRed Report 7 Nov 2017 19:22

She has her microchip so don't give up even through the darkest hour. Eleven years ago my cat was stolen this time of year. I was really freaked out but got him back.

So if she has been stolen. It is unlikely that whoever grabbed her intends to keep her, might already have sold her on for a few hundred pounds. A pedigree Labrador is expensive well beyond the means of many. There has developed in the UK a huge black market based on breeding from stolen dogs and Irish imports. Puppies with no / false docs at low prices find ready buyers no questions asked. Vets will chip any dog. Opal may well have been grabbed by these people. Sooner or later there is a chance a vet will read her chip but you need to refresh the event. It will also be worth following up on puppies for sale at low prices in the Midlands next year.

I am a little surprised that your offer of a reward has had no response. Try giving a figure and also posting in Polish, Chinese, Hindi. Say "information leading to" rather than all or nothing.

good luck


BrianW Report 7 Nov 2017 07:25

The latest conclusion is that she has been stolen, so could be anywhere.

If everyone could notify their email contacts we might have a chance of finding her.


Barbra Report 4 Nov 2017 16:46

Nudge .hope she is found safe x


Kay???? Report 3 Nov 2017 10:47

Stoke & Staffordshire - BBC News
3 days ago - Search on for missing £20k training dog. The Golden Labrador being trained to live with a disabled person went missing during a walk. 6 hours ..

wide exposure for her. plus a picture ......hoping something turns up.


BrianW Report 3 Nov 2017 07:03

With no news it looks possible that someone has found her and kept her, so may be out of the Uttoxeter area,
So if you notice that a neighbour has suddenly acquired a yellow labrador bitch puppy please see if anything arouses your suspicions.

 Sue In Yorkshire.

Sue In Yorkshire. Report 2 Nov 2017 13:34

Hope there is progress in finding Opal.


RolloTheRed Report 1 Nov 2017 11:24

I had always thought something such as powered pet microchip was impossible 'cos obviously not poss. to implant batteries.

Google suggests that there will be something of the sort on the market though noy quite yet.

which according to the company would be a "game changer". How true. Apart from pets stuff of dreams for race horse owners and animal breeders.

The downside is that some regimes might find installing them in humans irresistable.


ElizabethK Report 1 Nov 2017 11:03


Can you get the latest "chips" with GPS (optional) - I thought I read somewhere they were aailable ?


RolloTheRed Report 1 Nov 2017 10:37

Eleven years ago my kitten cat vanished six weeks before Christmas. He had been chipped but at that time scanning was even less routine than it is now. I printed off hundreds of photo sticky labels + small posters and got going visiting every single premises with a mile of my location in north London. That's quite a few places. A couple of people who I had never met before helped.

After three days I got a phone call that a cat which might be mine had been seen on a landing in a block of flats. I dropped everything and got round there on the double. It was the sort of block that doesn't have working lifts while unfriendly looking people slouch around on the landings. Swallowing hard I worked by way up one floor after another. Eventually, on a landing, I found my cat who had managed to extricate himself from a new cat box but got no further. His eyes showed that he had been drugged. I scooped him up and beat it.

Since then I have been very interested in trackers for cats and dogs. Those for dogs are now small enough for practical use. Given the devastation that loss of an animal causes it is difficult to see why around £ 100 can be thought of as too expensive. Pedigree Labradors sell for several hundred pounds. Of course a thief would junk the tracker straight away but it does give instant feedback from when the animal first disappears. It is in those first 24 hours that the best chance of recovery exists and the tracker is still likely to be worn.

Pedigree cats sell for several hundred pounds too. Street cat ( we had a black Parisienne street cat ) or pedigree they are dearly loved. Trackers for cats are not such an easy option as for dogs. Cats tend to hate collars which can be a nice home for fleas etc. Cats get into all sorts of places and even with a break off collar there is the fear the cat might get stuck. I do not think it is fair to cats not to let them out. All the same I will consider a cat tracker in the future.My work makes a dog impossible much as I like them :-(

crossing fingers that Opal turns up soon


BrianW Report 1 Nov 2017 07:24

Link to local paper website: