STRAY dogs have had to be put down after being abandoned by their owners in Stratford.
Stratford District Council dog warden Lisa Parkes has picked up 170 strays over the past year. Out of the dogs collected, three had to be destroyed.
She told the Observer: “I have had to have three unclaimed stray dogs destroyed. Two were identified as banned breeds under the Dangerous Dogs Act and one posed a danger to public safety.”
The other 167 dogs were either collected by their owners or taken to rehoming centres, such as Dogs Trust.
The rehoming charity, which is based in Kenilworth, say abandoned dogs are a ‘huge problem’ across the region, with nearly 9,000 dogs left unclaimed.
Assistant manager John Cullen told the Observer: “So many unwanted dogs being left in council kennels across the region should shock us as a nation of dog lovers.
“Abandoning is simply unacceptable and sadly Dogs Trust’s famous slogan ‘A Dog is for Life’ is as significant as ever. If you are not ready to care for a dog for its entire life, do not commit to becoming a dog owner.
“Authorities can be put in the tough position of being forced to put healthy dogs to sleep due to lack of space and resources. Treating a family pet like a disposable item has to stop.”
The charity is calling for all dog owners to get their pet microchipped before chipping becomes compulsory next April.
A microchip is a small rice-sized chip which is inserted into the back of the animal’s neck. It allows vets and wardens to check the address and phone number of the owner if their dog gets lost.
Dogs can be microchipped for free at the Dogs Trust centre in Kenilworth.
Visit www.dogstrust.org.uk to find out more.