Dog Training and Dog Care advice from UK Professionals

Stray Dogs

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Stray Pit BullIs Your Dog Safe?

A Mori survey carried out on behalf of the National Canine Defence League (August 17th 2001) revealed that 15,000 healthy dogs are being killed needlessly every year. In the UK in 2001, 113,500 dogs strayed and 13% of them were killed because their owners could not be traced or they couldn’t be re-homed. No healthy dog should be destroyed but sadly out of the 113,500 dogs that strayed last year, 24,970 (22%) were sent to Rescue and Welfare organisations, out of which 17,025 (15%) were re-homed.

Each local authority is responsible for the stray dogs in their county. There were on average 263 strays per local authority, an estimate of one stray dog for every 510 people in the UK. Local authorities spent £56,600 last year tackling the problem.

Nationally, the number of strays is on the decline for the fifth year running and less are being put to sleep, but this is still not good enough. Every local authority employs a Dog Warden. These people do their job out of love for dogs and have no wish to see them put to sleep. However, they have to keep strays off the streets as a stray dog poses a threat to people it encounters, and to itself from busy roads.


We urge dog owners to be more responsible and help reduce this senseless waste. It is your duty to have your dog neutered or closely monitored to prevent unwanted litters, which is the main cause of strays. Obviously this is if you have no wish to breed, though with the thousands of dogs sitting in rescue shelters, (puppies as well) why anyone would want to breed more dogs for any reason other than a selfish one is beyond me. Owners should also have their dog’s micro chipped or tattooed as a permanent form of identification. Both methods are relatively inexpensive and cause the dog no pain. Identification attached to a collar in the form of a disc or ball isn’t secure enough as they can be easily lost making the owner difficult to trace.

The minority of irresponsible dog owners throughout the UK are condemning dogs to death. Don’t turn a blind eye to this situation. If you know of any dog that carries no identification, take it upon yourself to have a chat with the owner. It should be noted that some vets and organisations will microchip your dog for free. We don’t have a list of which ones but it is surely worth asking about if you are considering having it done.

We are supposed to be a nation of dog lovers, lets all work together to solve this problem.

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