A SURVEY published this week has revealed that as many as 150 stray dogs are destroyed by local authorities each week in the UK because their owners cannot be traced.
The survey, conducted for the Dogs Trust charity, reveals that 21 dogs are destroyed in the UK every day and that one goes missing every six minutes. Chief executive Clarissa Baldwin said the ‘throwaway mentality’ of some dog owners was "deeply disturbing".
“This is the sixth year Dogs Trust has conducted this survey and we're deeply disturbed that, despite increasing awareness of how to prevent it, so many dogs are still allowed to stray," she said. "Over 20 dogs die every single day just for want of a home."
The research also revealed wide regional variations.
In the north of Scotland the number of dogs put to sleep in the last year has increased by 150% whereas in London the number has risen by 17%.
The Midlands had seen a 40% increase in destructions.
"On a more positive note, we've seen a huge reduction of destructions in the north-east of England and in Yorkshire," Ms Baldwin added. "Destructions are also down in Wales, an area which has previously been a hot spot."
Since 1999, in an effort to reduce the number of stray dogs, 150,000 dogs have been neutered and 184,000 micro chipped through the charity's campaigns programme.
The figures in the survey relate to the period from 31 March to 1 April.