Dogs on death row

Cleadon Kennels manager Sarah Wilkinson

Cleadon Kennels manager Sarah Wilkinson

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SCORES of dogs are on death row as a kennel is at bursting point with unwanted strays.

Already this year, 40 dogs have had to be euthanised at West Hall Kennels in Cleadon due to nobody wanting them.

Staff are now desperate to find new owners for the 45 animals in their care and they’re begging people to take more responsibility for their pets.

Kennel manager Sarah Wilkinson said: “In the 12 years that I’ve worked here, the situation has never been so bad, we are swamped with dogs.

“People need to start taking responsibility for their animals instead of just setting them free and expecting places like ours to take them in and look after them.

“We try and keep the dogs for as long as possible, but we can’t keep them forever, so unfortunately they sometimes have to be put to sleep and nobody wants that.

“If there’s an old dog and a young two-year-old that has its full life ahead of it, then it’s a no-brainer that the younger one will get a chance, which is such a shame for the older animals.”

Sarah says it’s mainly older dogs with health problems that the Cleadon Lane kennel is getting inundated with.

Lurchers, Staffordshire bull terriers and greyhounds are also common breeds needing to be rehomed.

The council pays for the first seven days of every dog’s care and after that it’s up to the kennels.

It costs on average £100 a week to feed all of the dogs.

Sarah said: “We are not a charity, we get no funding, so it’s not cash that’s just sitting there. The older dogs need a bit more care and attention and it seems people just don’t want to give it and are simply booting them out.

“It’s pointless arguing that people are hard up and that’s why they can’t afford to look after their pets.

“We sell a 15kilo sack of food for £8.50 which will last a medium-sized dog for up to six weeks. It’s hardly costing the earth.

“But then again you find the same people who can always find the cash to buy a packet of fags and booze, it’s just disgusting.

“We’re desperate to find these animals a loving home and I’m begging people to come in and have a look.

“It’s a sad fact but if the dogs can’t be rehomed we have to be realistic and they can’t stay here forever.”

If you would like to give any of the dogs at West Hall Kennels a home call 529 2369.

@SunderlandEcho