118,932 dogs abandoned in just one year
The 2012 annual Stray Dogs Survey released today by Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, reveals a shocking 118,932* stray and abandoned dogs were picked up by Local Authorities across the UK over the last 12 months, equating to a staggering 325 stray dogs being found every day.
The plight of ‘Secret Strays’ is relatively unknown as further findings reveal that 94%** of the public either vastly underestimate or have no idea how many stray dogs there are in the UK.
The survey shows that of the 118,932 stray dogs that were picked up by Local Authorities in the last year a significant proportion in London and other urban areas were those breeds deemed so called ‘status dogs’*** by the media. In the Granada region the numbers of stray ‘status dogs’ have risen by 82%, in Greater London they have increased by an incredible 148%.
Dogs Trust CEO Clarissa Baldwin comments
“Dogs Trust can understand why Bull breeds continue to be popular they make wonderful pets but the charity is extremely concerned about the numbers being abandoned, particularly in urban areas. Dogs Trust has written to DEFRA ministers to update them on this situation and sincerely hopes that this will provide them with the impetus to deal with the problem head on, making the much needed and long overdue changes to the laws regarding irresponsible dog ownership. We consider that the compulsory microchipping of all dogs in the UK and the introduction of Dog Control Notices are important solutions that will make irresponsible owners more accountable, and lead to immediate welfare benefits and a reduction in the number of stray dogs in the UK.”
Dogs Trust’s City Dogs project reaches out to the owners of so called ‘status’ dogs; since its launch in 2010 the project has neutered one dog a day in Greater London, helping to reduce the number of unwanted Staffie type puppies. Dogs Trust has also provided local authorities in Greater London with 2,750 free neutering vouchers and the Metropolitan Police with an additional 200 vouchers that are largely offered to the more vulnerable owners of bull breeds.
The charity is also keen to dispel the myth that stray dogs are an unknown quantity. A third of the population** say they would not rehome a rescue dog; this is particularly worrying as 50% of the dogs in the care of Dogs Trust were once abandoned and left to fend for themselves. The charity is urging the dog-loving public to consider giving an unwanted stray or abandoned dog a second chance.