Concern over increase in stray dogs in East Anglia

PUBLISHED: 12:43 06 September 2012

Fuzzy, an abandoned 4-month-old dog, who is being cared for at Dogs Trsut Snetterton.

Fuzzy, an abandoned 4-month-old dog, who is being cared for at Dogs Trsut Snetterton.

(c) copyright

Concern has been raised over the number of dogs being abandoned after new figures revealed that there has been an 85pc increase in stray cases in East Anglia over the last four years.

The Dogs Trust, which has a rehoming centre in Norfolk, said the figures highlighted the pressure the charity was under to find new homes for unwanted pets.

Results from the 16th annual stray dog survey reveal that local authorities in East Anglia dealt with 7,648 cases in 2012 compared to 4,126 in 2008, equating to 20 dogs being picked up each day. The overall number of strays collected in the UK was 118,932, an increase of 23pc on 2008.

Officials from the Dogs Trust partly blamed the trend of people in urban areas buying “status dogs” like Rottweilers and Staffordshire Bull Terriers.

Kate Brewster, supporter relations officer at Dogs Trust Snetterton, said the latest figures made for “depressing” reading.

“Many of these dogs will end up with rescue centres such as Dogs Trust. Dogs Trust works closely with local authorities and runs extensive education, neutering and microchipping campaigns to help them to tackle the issue of stray dogs. Local authorities should be congratulated for all of their hard work in a very difficult climate, but there is a long way still to go.”

“At any one time around 50pc of the dogs in the care of Dogs Trust were abandoned and left to fend for themselves. The charity is urging the dog-loving public to consider giving an unwanted stray or abandoned dog a second chance,” she said.

The 2012 survey was conducted by market research company GfK NOP who mailed questionnaires to all 377 local authorities in England and Wales. Dogs Trust cares for over 16,000 dogs a year through its network of 18 rehoming centres.

The charity has written to Defra ministers to update them on the rise in numbers of abandoned “status” dogs and is urging them to consider compulsory microchipping as a way to help identify irresponsible owners.

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