Pet Theft Reform Campaigner
1882. Daniel Allen
Dr Daniel Allen, from Newcastle-under-Lyme, is an animal welfare campaigner and has played a key role in changing pet theft reform, with his research into dog theft providing a core pillar of evidence for the Government's pet theft task force.
Daniel is an Animal Geographer at Keele University and a patron of charity ‘The Stolen And Missing Pets Alliance (SAMPA)’, founded by fellow Point of Light Debbie Matthews, with whom he has worked closely on three successful pet theft petitions to Government, calling for pet theft to be made a specific offence with custodial sentences. The Government has now pledged to reform the law to make pet theft a criminal offence, and Daniel is continuing to support reform through engagement with DEFRA’s pet theft task force, and as an Associate Member of All-Party Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare (APGAW).
The award for Daniel coincides with SAMPA’s Dog Theft Awareness Day, an annual event run by the charity to highlight the prevalence of theft and to campaign for reform.
In a personal letter to Daniel, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“Thank you for all of your efforts to keep our much-loved animals safe by reforming pet theft law. Your research was a vital resource for the Pet Theft Taskforce and I would like to thank you for working with my Ministerial colleagues at DEFRA to deliver the new Bill.
“As a dog owner myself, I can only imagine the trauma of having a family pet stolen and so I am delighted that we have worked together to get tough on this terrible crime.”
Lord Goldsmith, Minister for the Pacific and the International Environment, said:
“I am delighted that Dr Daniel Allen has been awarded the prestigious Points of Light Award by the Prime Minister for his work around Pet Theft Reform. Dr Allen has campaigned tirelessly to improve the law, and microchip scanning practices across the United Kingdom.
“Dr Allen’s research into dog theft was a vital pillar of evidence for the Government’s pet theft task force. I am pleased to say that the Government has pledged to reform the way pet theft is treated under the law, as well as making it a new criminal offence. This award is extremely well deserved and coincides with Dog Theft Awareness Day, a cause that Dr Allen has been a key driving force behind.”
Aaron Bell, Daniel’s local MP for Newcastle-under-Lyme, said:
“I would like to congratulate Dr Daniel Allen on receiving the Points of Light award. His efforts have been recognised both within Newcastle-under-Lyme, and on a national scale by Government and in Parliament.
“I am glad that his research has been put to good use through the Government’s pet theft task force. And I am delighted that one of his petitions, which received more than 143,000 signatures, led to reform of the law in this area.
“It is very fitting that he receives the award on Dog Theft Awareness Day as this is an issue that he has really championed.”
“To be recognised as a Point of Light is an unexpected honour. Since teaming up with the Stolen and Missing Pets Alliance (Sampa) in 2017, Pet Theft Reform has very much been a team effort. Recognising that ‘pets are family, not just property’, our grassroots campaign was designed to provide a platform to help victims, volunteers, organisations, and MPs work together; raise awareness; help reunite families; and change the law.
“After five years of campaigning, the Government announced that ‘pet abduction’ will formally be recognised as a specific offence, and the Government is also looking at ways of improving the microchip system to help secure pet reunifications. The Pet Theft Reform coalition are now urging the government to consider extending this offence to cats and other companion animals. We are also asking the public to continue supporting victims of pet theft on social media by sharing stolen pet posters – the families still searching are at the heart of this campaign.”