After our previous blog about pets being stolen in St Albans, a community Police officer issued the following email:-

Dog Thefts - Debunking The Myths
 Dear Watch Member,It has come to my attention that there is a story, or stories, circulating on social media regarding the theft, or attempted theft, of dogs in the St Albans area.The story that I have seen states something along the lines of males in a 4x4 stealing dogs, or something similar, and scaremongers readers in to "not walking dogs alone".Please let me reassure you that as far as I am aware there is no such issue within St Albans, and as an avid dog lover myself, please don't be afraid of walking your dogs!That being said we would always encourage members of the public to walk dogs safely, with high visibility clothing if walking at night.Unfortunately it takes just one member of the public to post a hoax story on Facebook, then with the power of the "share" button, the story can reach hundreds or thousands of people within a very short time frame.Please note that the only place to find factual information are on our official website, official Facebook page, official Twitter page or via OWL messages from Police staff.If you see this type of story floating around on Facebook, please feel free to give the poster this information, as well as my contact details if they should wish to discuss it. As nobody should ever be afraid to walk their dog!If you need to reply regarding this message, click on this email address: lewis.griffiths@herts.pnn.police.ukRegards,
Lewis Griffiths 
Police Community Support Officer 
Neighbourhood Watch 
Email: lewis.griffiths@herts.pnn.police.uk 

This has had mixed reviews with some people arguing that they know of dogs that have been stolen. I myself was at a vets a while ago when some travellers bought a border terrier in for a cesarean. Luckily the vet checked their records and discovered the dog had been previously stolen. The dog was reunited with it's owner but the police were powerless as the travellers just said that they had found the dog.The following news story has just been released as well:-http://www.bucksfreepress.co.uk/news/11700806.Attempted_dognapping_in_High_Wycombe_as_pet_owner_is_punched_and_kicked_in_assault/

I think the main thing is to remember that these are not common occurrences. Try and walk with another walker and don't let your dog run off out of sight. If walking in the dark, take a torch with you that can also be used in defense. If your dog is un-neutered, perhaps consider getting them done as some have been known to be stolen to use for breeding. But most importantly, keep your eyes peeled and if you see anything suspicious, alert the police. 

This was posted on a FaceBook page recently from a lady who lives in Churchill Rd, St Albans. " 'Apologies for starting your New Year off on a bad note but I wanted to warn all of you.
We have had two very serious attempted robberies on our place in a week, including men hiding in our yard and also backing a 4x4 up to our front door and trying to break down our front door. The police have confirmed that the burglars are attempting to steal our family dogs. Be extra vigilant about your security and look out for your neighbours. We have been told our house is definitely under surveillance by the burglars and we are absolutely terrified. Please stay safe!!!'

There is another unconfirmed story of a woman who was walking her standard poodle in St Albans, apparently in the Fleetville area when two men approached her, she was punched in the face and the dog was stolen. She said that there are apparently two white men with Shaven heads going around St Albans in a white van on the prowl looking for dogs to steal. 

Best to perhaps walk with other people at present and keep your eyes peeled. 

Happy New Year from all of us at Pet Relief and may you and your pets have a healthy and happy 2015!

The Royal Veterinary College have issued a warning to all horse owners. 5 horses locally have died in the last few days from atypical myopathy caused by eating sycamore seeds or "helicopters". Weather conditions are perfect for bacteria to grow on the seeds. There is no cure and the survival rate is 5%. Please be aware.

Met Selina from St Albans Dog Services today. Really nice lady and most importantly is an "animal person"!

Looking forward to sharing business with her in the future.

Percy has reached 2 years old and has suddenly decided that it's ok to test me! He has started "yapping" on his walk - even if no one is around! If I tell him off, he keeps about 2 feet away from me! So drastic measures were needed and I bought a vibrating collar.

Put it on him today and I only needed to do the warning bleep and he stopped.

So I don't know whether to be pleased that it has worked so quickly without the need to punish him, or whether to be annoyed as he has obviously been understanding my commands all along and is just being bloody minded!!

Unfortunately another rant about pack walkers:-(

On Friday, one of our walkers came across 3 dogs in the road in Marshalls Drive, St Albans near the Wick. A pack walker was loading another 3 into her Range Rover and then caught the 3 she had left to roam in the road and put them into her Range Rover. Needless to say, Karen was furious. Marshalls Drive isn\'t a busy road, but nonetheless, it is a through road and very popular with learner drivers.

If you can\'t control 6 dogs, then don\'t take 6 out!

Went to see a new client in St Albans whose next door neighbour used a different company with a liveried vehicle. Unsurprisingly (and unfortunately) they got burgled whilst they were away. Perhaps it could have been because the company they used had just advertised all over their van that they were on holiday! 

We DON'T advertise on our vehicles the fact that your house is empty.

Dacorum Council Logo

Pleased to announce that we had our yearly "check over" by County Council and they have renewed our dog boarding license without any issues or points raised.

We will make sure that we keep up the good work and high standards!

Well Snuffles the hamster was special to the end! He let my son have his birthday yesterday and then passed away the early hours of this morning :-(

At least it was very peaceful (on a heat pad, in his sleep). Lots of tears today.