Stray dog numbers drop but concerns still exist
NewsWednesday 18 September 2013
The Dogs Trust has recently released figures revealing that over 300 stray dogs are picked up from the streets of Britain each day.
Even though the introduction of microchips has worked towards reducing the number of strays, the local authorities picked up 111,986 dogs last year.
Trust CEO Clarissa Baldwin told the BBC: "Whilst it is encouraging to see that the number of strays has fallen there is clearly still a problem.
"We hope this alarming number will remind dog owners to ensure that theirs is microchipped."
The introduction of voluntary microchipping has made a huge impact on the population of strays and there are now plans to make it compulsory by 2016.
The Dogs Trust is Britain’s largest dog welfare charity and it indicated a 6% fall in the number of stray and abandoned animals picked up in the past 12 months. It also revealed that 48% of those animals were then successfully reunited with their owners.
A further 36% of the dogs picked up were found a new home either through animal welfare groups or local authorities. However, unfortunately 8% of them had to be put to sleep.
The Trust will never put a healthy animal to sleep, however, Ms Baldwin did say that her charity sympathised with local authorities that had to resort to these measures.
"They should be commended on their efforts to encourage responsible dog ownership, which is reflected in the reduction in strays," she continued.
"They do not want to put dogs to sleep but they are struggling to cope with such huge numbers... in a difficult economic climate."
The survey indicates that the problem of strays grew in the north of England - with a 43% rise in Yorkshire - but the trend was down in southern England, with the Anglia region showing a 29% fall.
Scotland (22%), Northern Ireland (37%) and Wales (14%) also saw reductions in their population of strays.