David Fulton founder of ‘LAB + BONE’ explains how he has come up with a simple idea that uses DNA to help reunite stolen dogs with their rightful owners, and quell the rising incidents of dog theft.  

Whether you’re a deer stalker or game shooter that makes use of dogs, a gamekeeper, a breeder, or simply a caring owner of a family pet dog, this story will resonate with you. 

Lab and bone Dog Theft

Sadly, the loss and theft of a dog destroys the special bond created by years of training, or even just the reliable ear who listens to you rant while out on a walk. As most of you should be aware, the trend of dog theft in the UK is pointed in the wrong direction, and most certainly since the start of the Covid pandemic. 

Working dogs are being targeted following outings, pets from homes, gardens, and parks when out on a walk. What might have started off as opportunist theft, has now turned into an organised operation, just watch the Vice documentary, ‘The Gangs that Steal your Puppy’ youtube.com/watch its eye-opening to say the least. 

The trend is fuelled by the false sense of security that owners believe they have, due to an incorrect interpretation of microchipping. Chips are designed to find the owner, not the dog. Old chips can be removed, new chips can be inserted. The state of the microchipping industry is an absolute mess with now 17 supposedly compliant microchip companies operating often independently of each other. 

In April 2016 there were four compliant databases. Since then, the number of database operators in the UK has grown and by January 2022 17 microchip databases hold themselves out as compliant with the 2015 Regulations. (DEFRA)

lab and bone puppy theft

Above: The LAB + BONES Test Kit. If you’d like to protect your dog, take a moment to take a look at the LAB + BONE website and decide on a plan that suits you. https://labandbone.com/order/

The 'Vice' documentary shines a light on how thieves are removing and replacing microchips, chips that can be purchased on eBay for less than a few quid. 

Compounding the issue, is the fact that even with microchips 74% of all stray dogs could not be reunited with their owners either, due to inaccurate records, the below information is sourced from Battersea Dogs:

Five years on from the law changing, 23% of dogs who are found as strays do not have a microchip implanted. Furthermore, only 26% of stray dogs were fully compliant with the microchipping regulations. This means that 74% of stray dogs handled by Local Authorities cannot be quickly and simply reunited with their keepers solely using their microchips, as they should be.

One of the biggest issues is people failing to update microchip records. 63% of stray dogs implanted with a chip have an inaccurate record. Most of these are new keepers, or owners, failing to update the microchip record, or to create a microchip record on a microchip database when they get a dog.

The new law will take time to pass, however Capreolus club member David, wanting to protect his beloved Labrador “Bo”, has worked tirelessly with some of the UK’s leading DNA experts, to develop a solution that will put an end to dog theft. 

LAB+BONE has been designed to use the DNA of the dog to protect the dog in the event of theft, or dispute of ownership.

Here is what Prof Rob Ogden Director of Conservation Science at the ‘Roslin Institute’ and ‘Royal School of Veterinary Studies’ has to say:

“Stolen dogs are often found on puppy farm raids. Storing your pet’s DNA means they can be legally identified and returned to you.” 

It is a simple process. Here is how it works:

  • LAB+BONE uses DNA to protect dogs in the event of theft, crime, or loss
  • In the event a dog is lost or stolen, police require case evidence to act
  • Thieves are disabling, removing, or replacing micro-chips leaving dogs unidentifiable
  • LAB + BONE securely stores two buccal samples of DNA for each dog, which are stored in a cryogenic freezer
  • In the event of a dog theft, rescue packs are sent to probable found dogs
  • When a positive DNA match is made, the owner can irrefutably prove ownership, using forensic evidence to legally reclaim their pet


To find out more information about this fabulous new idea and available plans, visit: https://labandbone.com/




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