On The Beat: PC Martin Hudd's column
ANIMALS appear to of dominated the work myself and my police community support officers have been involved with this week. In the Thingwall Park and Stapleton area of my beat there appears to of been a couple of cases of dog napping.
At present we are not talking about theft on the scale of 101 Dalmatians and I am pretty confident that Fishponds has not got its own version of Cruella Deville.
But none the less the loss of a family pet however that may occur is distressing.
In both incidents it appears that the dogs were never more than several metres away from their respective owners although not directly in their line of sight.
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However the thefts appear to of taken place in a matter of seconds.
They have been reported as thefts due to the fact that their owners assure us that the dogs would never have wandered off on their own accord.
There are certain precautions that pet owners can take to ensure that their beloved pets are easily identifiable whether they become lost or are unfortunate enough to get stolen.
Microchipping of animals is common place now and every animal recovered is automatically scanned to see if it has been microchipped and can then be returned to its rightful owner.
Other basic types of identification can be a collar and name tag or even a detailed photograph which records unique markings can assist the police or RSPCA in identifying the animal.
I have also seen an increase in dogs having flashing lights attached to their collars in an attempt to allow owners to keep track of them if they are off the lead in the dark.
And although this can appear at first to be like some miniature UFO travelling across the ground, it is as effective as is a small bell or sounding device attached in similar circumstances.
An equally distressing story this week concerns two swans who lived on the lake at Eastville Park.
They fell victim to the actions of a few inconsiderate fisherman who have left their fishing wire discarded in the lake.
The swans became entangled as they tried to free themselves. They suffered severe cuts resulting in them losing their lives.
Swans mate for life and the loss of a partner has a devastating effect on the one left behind.
The majority of fishermen take responsibility for their actions and will clear up after themselves. But as always it is the minority who gives fishing a bad name and thus attract our attention.
The local park keeper along with the police will be increasing their patrols around the lake over the coming weeks and will use these patrols to educate fishermen about their responsibilities. They will also check fishing licences. Fisherman found without the correct documentation will face a fine and having their equipment seized.