A recent study from the Dogs Trust has revealed that the number of stray dogs in this country has had the largest increase year-on-year since the records first started.
In the one year period to March 2009, the figures on the 2009 Stray Dogs Report showed 107,228 stray dogs were found. This is an increase of 11 percent on the previous twelve month period.
An increase in abandoned dogs should be no surprise to many as this website has itself reported that more and more people are abandoning their dogs during the recession as they look to cut costs.
The Dogs Trust attributed the rise in part to the recession but also to recent changes in dog control laws.
The Chief Executive at the Dogs Trust, Clarissa Baldwin, stated:
“Previously we had seen a steady decline, but the latest statistics show a huge jump in the number of stray dogs both handled and put to sleep by local authorities. Some dog wardens mentioned the recession could have been an attributing factor to the increase, while others cited the change in the stray dog law last April.”
The change in the law in April 2008 passed statutory responsibility for stray dogs within England and Wales to the local authorities whereas previously it was the police who were left responsible. Councils lack funding to pick up stray dogs and their limited working hours mean those who find and rescue the dogs have to keep them overnight.
The Dogs Trust has called for a new law making microchipping compulsory for every dog in the UK to help find and return abandoned dogs.
Ms Baldwin added:
“Microchipping is an essential part of being a responsible dog owner and has helped so many people become reunited with their beloved pets.”
The study also revealed that 31 percent of stray dogs returned to their owners in the twelve month period to March 2009 were returned thanks to microchipping.
The Dogs Trust invests heavily each year in microchipping and neutering education programmers for dog owners. Since their campaigns started ten years ago, 307,000 dogs have been neutered and 228,500 dogs have been microchipped.
Many would agree that all dogs in the UK should be microchipped, and it could even bring down the cost of dog insurance.
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