Dave Moorhouse had his dog micro-shipped when he got him. The dog disappeared in 2007, apparently stolen from Moorhouse’s yard while on a leash. Moorhouse hunted for the dog and notified local vets in case he was taken in for treatment.
In April 2010, Animalcare, owner of Anibase, which is the microchipping company, contacted Moorhouse to see if he wanted to update the ownership records on his dog. He told them no, I don’t want to as the dog was stolen three years ago.
Moorhouse asked the company for the name and address of the people who had Rocky, but the company won’t provide it, citing the UK Data Protection Act to wit: “Data must not be disclosed to other parties without the consent of the individual whom it is about.” Animalcare said they’d turn the information over pursuant to a police investigation, but not to Moorhouse. When he contacted the police, he was told there was no criminal case to pursue.
Wait. What? I’ve told you my dog was stolen, and that someone else wants to register him? And there’s no crime? What, is that the newest way to cook crime statistics? Just decide no crime has been committed?
I don’t completely fault Animalcare. They’re obeying the letter of the law. Lawmakers are notoriously short-sighted when they write laws. But why are the police washing their hands of the matter? You’ve got a property owner who says “My property is gone.” You’ve got a company saying that someone wants to register that property. How is there not a crime? Isn’t that at least worth some investigation to find out how the other party came to be in possession of the dog in the first place?
And why didn’t Animalcare start something from their end? Once Moorhouse told them the dog had been stolen three years ago, why didn’t they notify a law enforcement agency somewhere? Wasn’t there an ethical responsibility in there somewhere?