A RISE in the number of unwanted dogs arriving at kennels across the North East has raised concern among kennel owners.
The 2011 annual Stray Dogs Survey by dog welfare charity, Dogs Trust, reveals the number of stray and abandoned dogs is at an 11-year high.
More than 126,176 dogs were picked up by local authorities during the last 12 months – or 345 stray dogs a day found – an increase of four per cent on the previous year.
Sarah Wilkinson has worked at Cleadon Kennels for 12 years and said the last year has seen a drastic rise in dogs coming through their doors.
Sarah, 34, said: “An average month might see around 70 to 80 dogs come to us, but this last year it has gone crackers. It’s the easy option for people.
“In June, we had 128 dogs and we have space for 58. They have seven days in the kennel and then they have to be put down.
“People don’t give a stuff. People do not care,” added Sarah.
“We are living in a society where people, if they are not happy, give their dog up. It’s a disposable culture with no recrimination for people who abandon their dogs.”
More than six per cent (7,121) of strays picked up in the UK were put to sleep in the last year by local authorities because homes could not be found for them.
These figures represent an 11 per cent increase on the previous year and indicate that 20 dogs are put to sleep somewhere in the UK each day, nearly one dog an hour.
Sarah is also dismissive of the economic climate as an excuse for dumping dogs.
She said: “It’s been used as an excuse for the last six years. If people can afford to buy cigarettes and booze, they can afford to buy a bag of dog food.
“People are paying £300 or £400 for a designer dog or a new crossbreed, when they could come and rehome a dog in desperate need and just make a £40 donation.”
“It’s more of a cost in time than money. People buy a little puppy and that puppy has to be trained. It’s a big commitment.”
Sarah and Dogs Trust are in favour of making microchipping compulsory in the UK which could save the public purse between £20.5million and £22.8million a year.
Sarah said: “If all dogs were microchipped, people would have to take responsibility of their dogs.”
“We have loads of dogs in need of homes.
“We’ve got a lovely little Staffy/border terrier cross called Albie. He’s 18 months old and doesn’t bark at all.
“There’s a brindle staff terrier bitch called Minnie. She’s five and has a lovely temperament.”
If you want to rehome a dog call Cleadon kennels on 529 2369.