How Sash-Tag Can Deter Thieves From Stealing Your Neutered Dog
Our latest Guest Blog is by Sharon McLusky who is the founder of Sash-Tag, a tag that identifies neutered dogs to deter thieves from stealing them for the purpose of breeding.
I'm Sharon McLusky, a Veterinary Care Assistant, currently working at a Veterinary Practice in Merseyside. I am also the founder of Sash-Tag, a tag that identifies neutered dogs to deter thieves from stealing them for the purpose of breeding.
I came up with the idea of Sash-Tag after having a lengthy telephone call with a lady who had her German Shorthaired Pointer cruelly stolen from her in December 2012.
We had a female German Shorthaired Pointer brought into work as a stray, one Saturday afternoon. We scanned her and she was microchipped, it was registered to a place in Ireland and the telephone number was no longer available. The dog warden was called and the dog was taken to the RSPCA in Liverpool. A few days later I saw a post on facebook from a lady desperate to get her dog back. She had been stolen whilst the owner was putting her other dogs in her car. The dog in question is an award winning show dog and working dog, and the owner believed she was taken to be bred from. I contacted the owner to tell her we had a dog just like hers brought in to our practice, and advised her of where she had been taken. She told me that she had already made the trip from Barnsley to Liverpool to see the dog, and unfortunately it wasn’t hers.
I was genuinely devastated for her. The poor woman sounded so low, yet determined to get her dog back. She told me that her dog was neutered and that they would get no pups from her, and she dreaded what might happen to her once it was discovered she wouldn’t be making these thieves their stacks of cash, because ultimately there is only one reason for dog theft, and that is financial gain! The owner has done just about everything she can think of to try and get her dog home, including re-mortgaging her house and offering a reward of £10,000. More than 2 years on, she continues her search with the help of good family and friends.
My first thought after speaking to this lady was, if the thieves had known she was neutered they wouldn’t have taken her, and so I came up with Sash-Tag.
Sash-Tag is a dog tag that hangs from the dogs collar or harness. It is bright orange in colour, so can be seen from a distance, and has a distinctive diamond shape. The tag has the Sash-Tag logo on one side and the words I AM NEUTERED on the other side, together with its own 5 digit number. Once allocated to a dog, the number is entered into our secure database along with the owners name, dogs name and dogs breed. The tags come in small, medium and large, to cater for all breeds. There are three stickers that come with the tag, one for the car and two for the home. These are supplied to deter the opportunist thief.
Sash-Tag packs will only be available from vets or directly from Sash-Tag, this is to ensure that the dog IS neutered. If it cannot be confirmed that the dog is neutered, then unfortunately we will not be able to supply that dog with a tag. The reason for this is that we want people to be able to have faith in this product. That their dog will be that little bit safer wearing this tag, they will KNOW that their dog will not be stolen for the purpose of breeding.
As I said before the ONLY reason for dog theft is financial gain, and breeding is one of the most common reasons for dog theft. Puppy farmers do not go out and buy dogs to breed from, and check for any hereditary diseases, or even check the dog is well. If a dog can provide them with litters of puppies, then they don’t care where the dog came from or who it belonged to. Some dogs will be transported abroad to live a life of misery caged up somewhere else. These thieves are causing heartbreak for owners up and down the country. You only have to look at social media sites to see people pleading for help to get their beloved dogs back, their child’s best friend, their soul mate. We believe its time it stopped!
If a thief wants a dog to breed from, they are going to take them. No breed is safe, given the fact that crossbreeds given a fancy name can now fetch hundreds of pounds. If the dog is neutered and the thief doesn’t know it is neutered, they are going to take them anyway. Then what happens to the dog when they discover they won’t be making any money from this it? They sell it on? They dump it? Or worse?
Our aim here at Sash-Tag, is that our product will have a domino effect. More dogs wearing the tag, means less dogs being stolen, so less strays, less dogs in shelters, more people will neuter their dogs, meaning less unwanted litters, and an end to puppy farming. Our hope, is that people will read this and if they ever had any doubt about neutering their dog, that this will give them the perfect reason to do it.