Team of wardens work hard to re-home dogs abandoned in Chichester district

Taxi

Taxi

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A total of 206 stray or abandoned dogs were rescued during 2011 by Chichester District Council’s dog wardens, according to a new report.

Among them, Purdy was tied to a fence post and abandoned, Gypsy was so scared of humans she would cower in a corner, and Thimble and Taxi were abandoned just before Christmas.

Purdy

Purdy

“The number of strays was down last year, but the number of those that were unclaimed almost doubled,” said dog warden Viv Magrath.

“If you are having a problem looking after your dog, please do not abandon it.

“We have a list of dog rescue centres and we can give advice.

“Stray dogs can pose a serious danger to themselves and to traffic.

Gypsy

Gypsy

“Not all unclaimed strays are re-homed, but they still have to stay in council kennels for seven days, which can be extremely frightening and stressful for them.”

All lost or found dogs should be reported to the wardens by calling 1243 534734 during office hours (Monday-Friday, 8.45am-5pm).

The wardens will arrange an appointment for the dog to be taken to a new reception point at the council’s depot in Westhampnett.

The out-of-hours service for dog control has recently been changed.

Thimble

Thimble

From 5pm to 9pm on weekdays, and 8am to 9pm on weekends and bank holidays, there is an emergency service only.

Emergencies may include dangerous dogs, and lost and found dogs.

Residents can call 01243 534754, where they can leave a message with the details.

Around 80 per cent of stray dogs the wardens deal with have a home and have just become lost.

“We also want to make sure all dog owners ensure their dog always wears an identity tag,” said Ms Magrath.

“They should wear them even if they are at home, as it only takes a minute for them to find a loose fence panel and escape. You can face a penalty of up to £2,000 if your dog does not have an identity tag.

“We would also recommend that dogs are micro-chipped.

“If they become lost, it is easier and saves a lot of time and money to re-unite them with their owner.

“Dogs become very stressed and frightened when they are lost, and even more so when they are put in kennels. We want to re-unite lost dogs with their owners as soon as we can.”

If dogs are unclaimed, the council starts the re-homing process.

The council keeps all stray dogs for seven days to allow time for the owner to come forward, and for the wardens to check on national websites that the dogs had not been stolen.