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    Man reunited with dog after generous stranger pays £68 charge

    NewsGeneral Dog NewsWednesday 20 February 2013

    A man from Derby has been reunited with his impounded dog after a stranger came forward and offered the £68 that was needed. 

    Mike Phillips had lost his dog after it escaped from a communal garden at his home and he couldn’t afford to pay the council the amount they required to hand it over. 
    A stranger, called Gary Hozath offered to pay the money for Mr Phillips after he heard him being interviewed on the radio. 
    Derby City Council stated that the dog should have had identification and the money they required was to cover its costs. 
    The dog in question is a Jack Russell cross, called Douglas E Fairbanks Dawg - or just Dugge for short - and it was reuinted with Mr Phillips on Tuesday. 
    The 54-year-old told the BBC: "The dog's been missing for nearly a week now. I've missed him, my other dogs missed him.
    "Coming in and not being greeted by Dugge is like losing one of your kids.
    "I'm so pleased to have him back. So grateful to Gary."
    After having the dog for seven days, the council would have then attempted to rehome the dog. 
    Mr Horzath said he did not want paying back and he told the BBC: "I'm just pleased that I can help him.
    “I've got a dog myself and I know how I would feel if I lost him and I just thought I've got to help this guy."
    The dog escaped through metal fencing at Mr Phillips's home in Leaper Street.
    The fencing had recently been replaced by the council and Mr Phillips said the gaps are too big.
    Jack Twomey from Derby City Council's environmental health team said the dog should have been on a lead, and it had previously escaped less than a month before.
    It had been returned to Mr Phillips on that occasion, who was advised to get it chipped or get a collar and tag.
    Mr Twomey said: "We would take a dog back to an owner for free where we can get some identification but if it's not got some identification we've got no alternative but to take it back to our kennels."
    Owners of dogs taken in as strays and removed to a dog pound are liable for a statutory charge of £25.
    Mr Twomey said dog owners should pay the council's additional costs instead of taxpayers.
    Picture courtesy of the BBC.
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