Dog Wardens at Blaby District Council are reaching crisis point due to a surge in the number of dogs handed in to them that are not genuine strays.
Michelle Ikin, senior dog warden, said:
“We seem to be receiving a lot of calls from people who have apparently ‘found’ dogs which turn out to be their own pets. Obviously with this situation we know the dog isn’t going to be claimed as many genuine strays would be which is putting tremendous pressure on kennel space at the moment.”
Blaby District Council recently collected a 10 year old dog named Alfie, who was handed into a rescue centre after the person had ‘found’ him outside.
After a full investigation by the dog wardens they discovered that the owner of the dog had made a number of phone calls that day trying to get rid of the dog and believe that the ‘finder’ was actually a friend who was abandoning the dog.
“People do not understand that abandoning their pets in this way is putting a lot of pressure on resources that are intentioned for genuine stray animals.
“Dogs that come in as strays are much more difficult to re-home than a pet which has been handed into a rescue with history and therefore by trying to get rid of their animals this way they are actually putting their pets at a much greater risk of being destroyed than if they re-home them responsibly.
“The dog which was handed in this week has severe gingivitis and a growth, neither of which had been seen or treated by a vet, which left us with a very difficult decision as to whether we could afford to treat him. It is a heartbreaking situation for a dog that has done nothing but be a loyal pet for 10 years.
“Fortunately, thanks to The Park Veterinary Group who have offered us a discount on the operation and dental work, we are now able to get Alfie treated and hopefully find him a lovely retirement home. What people are prepared to put their animals through never fails to amaze me, it’s very sad.”
It is Blaby District Council’s policy to investigate all stray dogs that are handed over to them and where there is evidence to suggest that owners are involved they will be traced and invoiced for kennelling and associated costs.
Anyone who could offer Alfie a home can contact the dog wardens on 0116 272 7515 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Around 160 strays are picked up each year by the local authority’s dog wardens and about half of these are left homeless.
Photos and descriptions of all available dogs are available at www.blaby.gov.uk/dogs
All animals are assessed, vaccinated, microchipped and neutered (where possible) and a fee of £105 is charged to cover these costs.
In cases such as Alfie where the dog is 10 years or older the re-homing fee is reduced to £60.