Escalating number of dogs being dumped

Jayne Kirkham with the abandoned Patterdale Terrier at Vets4Pets in Leyland
Jayne Kirkham with the abandoned Patterdale Terrier at Vets4Pets in Leyland

A growing number of dog owners are dumping their pets and giving false details so they can’t be traced, it has been claimed.

Bosses at South Ribble Council say the situation has got so bad they have now been forced to write to all vets in the borough telling them not to accept stray pets.

It comes as councils across the county say they are struggling to cope with the volume of pets being dumped.

Today, bosses at Vets4Pets on Church Road, Leyland, said they “could not accept” new rules imposed by South Ribble Council after staff were instructed by dog wardens to tie a dumped dog to a lamp post.

Receptionist and nursing assistant Emma Fisher said the rules will put genuine people off helping a pet in need.

Emma said: “The dog is really cute. He is a little boy, we know that much, and he can’t be very old.

“He had nearly been run over three times when he came to us. He had been caught running through the morning traffic.

“A man had picked him up and left his details with us.

“The dog hadn’t been hurt, but he could have been if someone hadn’t picked him up and brought him to us.

“We have had a letter from the dog warden last week saying they won’t collect dogs from us any more.

“And when we called them they said we would have to tie it up outside.

“But if someone brings a stray dog to us we can’t just turn it away.

“And who is to say nothing would happen to him if we left him tied up outside?

“I just can’t believe that is what they have told us to do.

“They said they would collect it from whoever found it, but that could have meant them staying at home and waiting all day when they should be at work.

“All this just puts people off helping them in the first place.”

Coun Peter Mullineaux, South Ribble Council’s cabinet member with for neighbourhoods and street scene, said: “The council has a statutory duty to deal with stray dogs and we will fulfil this duty at all times, including evenings and weekends.

“However, the council is not responsible for dogs which are no longer wanted by their owners. This responsibility lies firmly with the owner.

“We have recently experienced an increase in dog owners leaving unwanted dogs with vets, suggesting they have found the animal stray and leaving false personal details.

“This results in the council incurring costs which should have been met by the owner.

“As a result we have written to all vets in the borough and advised that when stray dogs are brought in they should not accept responsibility for the dog and should instead send the person directly to the council.

“An officer will then come to pick the dog up and attempt to find the owner.

“This system has worked very well and our vets have been very co-operative.”

If anybody finds a stray dog they should call South Ribble Council’s Gateway on 01772 625625.