Britain is apparently a nation of dog lovers but, according to Birmingham’s dog wardens, more than 25 strays a week are being found on the city’s streets.
Despite a 26 per cent drop in the number of stray dogs found in 2014/15 (1,375 compared to 1,874 in 2013/14), wardens were still on average having to deal with at least three strays per day.
Of these, 184 were dogs that had either been reported missing, micro-chipped or known to wardens. This meant they could be returned to their owners directly.
The remaining 1,191 were taken to Birmingham Dogs’ Home: sadly only 403 were subsequently claimed by their owners, with 788 left at the dogs’ home, as they are simply not wanted.
People who can no longer afford or manage to look after their dogs should rehome them responsibly. There are a number of animal rescue centres in Birmingham that look to rehome unwanted pets.
Owners who choose to rehome their pooches can provide important information – name, medical history, vaccination status, and details of any aggressive nature or biting incident.
Without this vital information, these dogs are harder to rehome – which is a common problem faced by the kennels who, in many cases, don’t even know the dog’s name.
Vikki Allwood, senior animal welfare officer for Birmingham City Council, said: “Dogs are said to be man’s best friend but – while the vast majority of owners understand a dog is for life – we are still finding too many strays.
“Abandoning a dog not only puts it at risk but puts an extra strain on the city’s stray dog kennels, as rehoming these unwanted pets can prove difficult. People want to have cute puppies rather than adult dogs.
“Some owners cannot afford high veterinary fees, but this is a cost they must factor in when they get a dog. The PDSA may be able to offer discounted veterinary care in some cases, but only for people who are receiving benefits.”
Compulsory dog micro-chipping is due to come into effect in April 2016, which should greatly reduce the numbers of strays and provide wardens with extra powers to make people who abandon their dogs accountable for their actions.
Dog owners must by law also ensure the details on the microchip database are kept up to date.
Media contact: Emma Brady, Press and PR Officer, on 0121 303 6969 or email email@example.com
Notes to editors:
Case study: Dog wardens were able to reunite Pablo, a two-year-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier, with his owner as a result of information stored on his microchip.
Pablo had managed to get out of his owner’s home in the city centre, escaping out of a window for a late night stroll on 22 July 2015.
He walked into City Hospital, on Dudley Road, where a nurse found him and took him home, then contacted the council’s dog warden service.
After checking his microchip details, dog wardens were able to reunite Pablo with his relieved owner the next day.
When stray dogs are found and taken to the contracted kennels, the owner has seven days to come forward and pay all expenses incurred before they can claim the dog back.
Kennels staff will attempt to find new homes for dogs which are not reunited with their owners after a week.
Dog wardens will check all lost dog reports, that are received daily, to see if any of the dogs can be matched up with any possible owner.
Where possible, dog wardens will try to return the dog to its owner. A new £25 statutory charge for this came into effect on 1 April 2015.
In all instances the owner is notified of the seizure if the details are available and correct.
For information on subsidised or free healthcare for your dog, visit: