Over 20 Dogs a Day are being Put to SleepKeith
Over 20 Dogs a Day are being Put to Sleep
Annual survey by the Dog’s Trust reveals heartbreaking statistics in 2013
More than 7,000 unwanted dogs were destroyed by councils across country
Charity says people in survey greatly underestimated number of UK strays
Also claims people don’t do enough to help missing dogs get found
But research did show number of strays had dropped by 1% from 2012
At any one time there are more than 110,000 stray or abandoned dogs in the UK, with 21 dogs a day being put down by local authorities, research has shown.
And nearly three quarters of owners (72%) are unaware that they only have a week to reclaim a dog from a local authority before it can be put down.
But it’s not all bad news as the overall numbers of stray and abandoned dogs handled by councils has actually fallen one per cent this year from 111,986 to 110,675, and 10,084 dogs were reunited with their owners thanks to electronic chips.
The annual Stray Dog Survey by the Dog’s Trust also revealed that nearly a third of owners (29%) will lose their dog at least once during its lifetime
The slight improvement in the survey that covers 1st April 2013 and 31st March 2014 could be down to technologies such as microchipping which continue to grow in popularity.
When dogs do go missing, close to two thirds (64 per cent) of owners don’t know whose responsibility it is to care for missing strays with nearly half (46 per cent) saying they would get in touch with a family member or neighbour, rather than call the local council.
Once the dog is in local authority care it is only seven days before their pet can be transferred to a new owner or they are put to sleep if a new home cannot be found.
A huge 7,085 dogs were destroyed by councils over the year.
Of the 1,000 people surveyed 96 per cent thought there were only about 20,000 strays or abandoned dogs, a huge underestimation.
Widely considering their dog as one of the family, one fifth (20 per cent) of owners said they had taken time off work because of a missing dog with, on average, taking 4.2 days when their dog went missing.
Sixty one per cent of those dog owners said they’d be too embarrassed to talk about their absence openly with colleagues, choosing instead to explain their time off as ‘annual leave’ (63 per cent), or ‘compassionate leave’ (33 per cent).
Despite being dog owners, half of those surveyed said they never take any action to note down the contact information or details of the missing dog after having seen a ‘missing dog’ poster.
Clarissa Baldwin OBE, Chief Executive of Dogs Trust said: ‘The number of instances of straying on our streets is declining, but we still have a significant job to do when it comes to raising awareness about responsible dog ownership.
‘Owners are unsure of who to reach out to and how much time they have to recover their dog should he or she go missing.
‘Microchipping not only helps speed up the process of reuniting an owner with their dog, it is also significantly reducing the number of strays overall.
‘We’re calling on dog owners across the UK to come along to one of our free microchipping events at www.chipmydog.org.uk so that we can continue to improve the situation ahead of the change in law in Wales in 2015 and England in 2016 which will make microchipping compulsory.’