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Dogs Trust urges public to tackle stray problem

Hungarian Viszla ‘Red’ who arrived at Dogs Trust as a stray in 2005

Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, says dog owners must take more responsibility if the stray dog problem is to be tackled, and dogs are to be saved from unnecessary death.

A report conducted by GfK NOP on behalf of Dogs Trust, released today, shows that 101,586 stray dogs were found in the UK last year, and 7,743 dogs were destroyed for want of a home1. At the current rate of decline, it will take 350 years until the stray dog problem is a thing of the past.

While this represents a small reduction from the previous year, Dogs Trust says dog owners must help tackle the problem by having their dog neutered to stop litters of unwanted puppies.
Dogs Trust Chief Executive, Clarissa Baldwin, says:

“100,000 dogs found stray is a shocking number and should be a wake-up call to dog owners.  For a nation of so-called animal lovers, it is unacceptable that we are prepared to treat animals as throwaway commodities, and dog owners must take responsibility for their pets.

At Dogs Trust we are working hard to put an end to all unnecessary destructions, and are working closely with local authorities to achieve this, but unless dog owners think about the commitment needed to look after a dog, dogs will continue to be put to sleep.

The message is clear. Get your dog neutered to prevent unwanted litters. Make sure your dog has a microchip and ID tag to ensure that if he does get lost he can more easily be reunited with you.”

Dogs Trust believes that the most effective and humane way of reducing stray dog numbers in the long-term is best achieved through neutering. The charity also promotes microchipping as a way of reuniting owners with their dogs should they go missing. Last year microchips helped reunite 24% of stray dogs with their owners.

The charity has an extensive campaigns programme to promote neutering and microchipping, and in the last year alone, has invested over £3m in neutering and microchipping in the worst affected areas in the UK. Since the scheme began in 1999, 187,500 dogs have been neutered and 206,814 have been microchipped through Dogs Trust, and as a result the numbers of stray dogs and the number of destructions have fallen dramatically.