Surrey Police is the latest police force to partner with Cellmark’s dog DNA profiling service, DNA Protected, to help combat dog theft. Surrey Police promoted the partnership with a press release and posts across social media following a launch event on 27th July at a ‘Walkies at Wisley’ evening at the Royal Horticultural Society Garden Wisley.
Surrey Police is one of a growing number of police forces across the country which are fighting dog thefts with forensics. With a simple mouth swab, dog owners can have their dog’s DNA profile loaded to Cellmark’s Forensic Dog DNA Database, making it available to police forces across the country.
DNA Protected is designed to give dog owners peace of mind that they have taken extra steps to deter theft and, should the worst happen, that their pet’s DNA profile is available to the police to help ensure their dog’s safe return.
The launch was supported by Surrey police rural crime officers, dog handlers and community support officers who were available to talk to the hundreds of dog owners at ‘Walkies at Wisley’.
PC Hollie Iribar, Rural and Wildlife Crime Officer with Surrey Police, spoke about the difficulties police can face when a recovered dog’s identity cannot be proven, for example, if a microchip doesn’t work or it has been removed by thieves. Since each dog has unique DNA (apart from identical twins) DNA is effectively nature’s own ‘microchip’, the ultimate dog identification system which cannot be lost, altered or removed.
More information about DNA protected can be found at www.dnaprotected.co.uk, where kits can be ordered along with a range of branded collars, leads and window stickers; the police confirm that letting criminals know that you have taken steps to protect your dog may make them think twice.