Decrease in region's stray dogs

A FALL in the number of stray dogs in the region has been reported by an animal welfare charity today. A new report shows there were 611 less strays collected in the last registered year compared to the previous year - a reduction of 13per cent.

A FALL in the number of stray dogs in the region has been reported by an animal welfare charity today.

A new report shows there were 611 less strays collected in the last registered year compared to the previous year - a reduction of 13per cent.

The figures, which relate to East Anglia, show a vast improvement compared to national figures where overall the reduction has only been 3pc.

However, figures from Ipswich show an increase in the number of reports of strays in the town from 140 last year to 162 this year.

Ipswich Borough Council says the town's anomaly may be due to more people reporting stray dogs, not that there are more strays out there.

A spokesman said: “We know the number of stray dogs in the town are stable year on year and that now there is far less of a problem than there was ten years ago. The figures then were a lot higher.

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“The majority of dogs reported have simply escaped from home and are claimed back by their owners that day.

“We don't have a problem in the town.”

The East Anglia report has been compiled on behalf of national charity Dogs Trust.

It has revealed 4,046 strays were collected in the region between April 2005 and March 2006, compared to 4,657 the year before.

The report also reveals the number of dogs being destroyed in East Anglia is rising by 20pc, despite national figures showing a 1pc reduction.

Of the strays collected in East Anglia, 112 were put to sleep. Last year there were 93 put to sleep.

Dogs Trust chief executive, Clarissa Baldwin, says: “For a nation of so-called animal lovers, it is unacceptable that we are prepared to treat animals as throwaway commodities.

“Dog owners in East Anglia must take more responsibility for their pets, or the problem will not go away.

“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, which never destroys a healthy dog, works closely with local authorities and in as many cases as possible will take stray dogs from them.

Do you think Suffolk has a stray dog problem? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

WEBLINK:

www.straydogsurvey.org.uk

Last year microchips helped reunite 24per cent of stray dogs with their owners.

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