Concern about the escalating number of abandoned dogs

A BIG rise in the number of unclaimed abandoned dogs across the Chichester district is seriously worrying district council dog wardens, who are urging people not to ditch their unwanted pets on to the streets.

The council, which has responsibility for collecting stray dogs, has seen almost a doubling of the number picked up, taken to its kennels and then remain unclaimed.

If a dog is not collected by its owner after seven days, wardens try to re-home it.

Dog control officer Viv Barale said the trend in unclaimed strays was causing concern.

From April last year to April of this year, there were 56 unclaimed strays, compared to 32 the previous year.

In total there was a drop in stray dog numbers, with 197 found. Of these, 141 were returned to their owners. Of the 56 unclaimed dogs, 43 were re-homed either with members of the public or to dog rescue centres.

Ms Barale said most dogs found wandering did have a home, as they had usually only escaped from the garden.

Most of the dogs being picked up as strays and remaining unclaimed were ‘bull breeds’ with aggressive temperaments. They could not be re-homed due to their temperaments.

Just recently, the dog wardens picked up Bobby, a Staffordshire bull terrier, who had been used for fighting and then abandoned. He was now at the council’s kennels.

Bobby was aged between two and four years old and was found abandoned at Linchmere in the north of the district.

The dog wardens are urging anyone thinking of getting a dog to make sure they can both afford a dog and are willing to exercise it daily.

“It is really important that owners have the time and energy to walk and train their dog, and that they are aware of relevant legislation,” said Ms Barale.

If you are concerned about a dog or need some advice, contact the council’s dog control section on 01243 785166.