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Gundog Theft Awareness Week 2022

Gundog Theft Awareness Week, part of the Pet Theft Awareness Campaign, takes place from 31 October to 7 November, and aims to raise awareness of gundog theft and its prevention.

It is estimated that nearly half of all stolen dogs are working gundogs.  Working breeds like pointers, spaniels and Labradors are known to be well-trained and well-socialised which makes them an easy target for dog thieves especially in rural locations. Here Secured by Design member company Cellmark Forensic Services explain how they are working to tackle this issue.

In addition to well-known dog theft prevention advice, for example to review security at home and around outdoor kennels, ensure microchip details are up to date, keep up to date photos of your dog and be careful about what information you post on social media, DNA Protected is a new police-backed crime prevention initiative that allows owners to store their dog’s DNA on a forensic DNA database.

DNA Protected has been developed with police by leading forensic company Cellmark Forensic Services to deter thieves, provide you with peace of mind and help police collar the criminals. 

cellmarkdna protected dog dna sampling kit box

Your dog’s DNA is unique and cannot be changed.  It is nature’s ultimate identification system.  Unlike a microchip which might fail or could even be removed, DNA will identify your dog for life. A simple mouth swab taken from your dog contains thousands of cells, each containing your dog’s DNA.  By analysing the DNA collected on the swab sample, Cellmark will produce a DNA profile which can be used to confirm your dog’s identity.

Storing your dog’s DNA profile on Cellmark’s forensic dog DNA database makes it accessible to the police and means that if the worst were to happen and your dog were lost or stolen, it could help ensure that they are safely returned.

The DNA Protected kit comes with everything a dog owner needs to take the DNA sample and return it securely to the laboratory.  Also included is a collar tag and a window sticker to show criminals you have taken steps to protect your dog from theft.

Police sampling kits and DNA profiling are available at much reduced prices to enable police to sample a recovered dog that cannot be identified by other means to reunite it quickly with its owner and help prosecute the thieves.

Cellmark’s dog DNA profiling service is accredited to ISO17025 by the UK Accreditation Service (UKAS) and approved by Secured by Design, the official police security initiative. 

If you are interested in finding out how Cellmark and DNA Protected can help support your force with a dog theft prevention initiative, help reunite stolen dogs with their rightful owners and provide reassurance to your dog owning community, please contact us at we’d love to hear from you.