Today (17 June) at 7pm, I will be talking live to the amazing Debbie Matthews.
Fourteen years ago, Debbie’s two Yorkies were stolen while she was shopping at Marks&Spencer. Her world fell apart and she was shocked at how the authorities didn’t seem to take pet theft seriously.
Debbie was in tears and her dad, the late great Sir Bruce Forsyth, rescued her. They fought to get those dogs back; Bruce went on breakfast TV several days that week and eventually the dogs were recovered.
But not all pet owners have a famous dad, and when a member of their family is stolen it’s very hard to get anyone to take it seriously. Debbie could have hugged her little Yorkies, thanked her lucky stars, and put it all down to experience.
But luckily for us pet lovers, she didn’t – first launching Vets Get Scanning and then helping found the Stolen and Missing Pets Alliance. Every day you’ll see her posting on Facebook and Twitter, helping people in distress or trying to get another petition to 100,000. She is amazing – and the latest Pet Theft Reform parliamentary petition just made history by being the first debated via Zoom!
Young MP Tom Hunt has vowed to try to get pets treated as family – at the moment the law just sees them as possessions, like a wallet or a phone. Check out Stolen and Missing Pets Alliance and Bruce Forsyth’s Vets Get Scanning/UK Get Scanning – the two latest petitions are here and here.