YOUR COUNTRY’S STRAY DOGS NEED YOU!
06 September 2012
Dogs Trust reveals 118,932 dogs abandoned in 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 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, particularly in urban areas, as they can make wonderful pets but the charity is concerned about the numbers being abandoned. Dogs Trust works hard to promote Responsible Dog Ownership offering free microchipping and subsidised neutering to try to tackle the problem.”
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.
Dogs Trust has written to DEFRA ministers to update them on the rise in numbers of abandoned ‘status’ dogs and is urging them to consider compulsory microchipping as a way to help identify irresponsible owners.
The plight of ‘Secret Strays’ is relatively unknown as further findings reveal that 94%** of the public either underestimate or have no idea how many stray dogs there are in the UK.
Dogs Trust CEO Clarissa Baldwin adds:
“Dogs Trust is also keen to dispel the myth that stray dogs are an unknown quantity as a third of the population*** say they would not rehome a rescue dog. At any one time around 50% of the dogs in the care of Dogs Trust were abandoned and left to fend for themselves. We are urging the dog-loving public to consider giving an unwanted stray or abandoned dog a second chance.”
Abandonment Case Study
Bolt is a three month old Akita puppy at Dogs Trust Merseyside who was thrown over the 8 foot fence of the rehoming centre early one morning, sustaining a bad break to his leg. Bolt had an operation the next day which went well and he is now in the process of recovery before looking for a home.
Notes to editors:
- Dogs Trust is the UK’s largest dog welfare charity and cares for over 16,000 dogs a year through its network of 18 rehoming centres in the UK and one in Ireland. Dogs Trust has a non destruction policy, we never destroy a healthy dog.
- *Findings by GfK NOP
- **Bull breeds, Rottweilers, Akitas or crosses of these are considered ‘status dogs’ according to the survey. ‘Status dogs’ is a phrase coined by the media and used and understood by them and the general public.
- ***YouGov Plc Survey Total sample size was 4347 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 22nd - 25th August 2011. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).
- High resolution photographs of Bolt are available plus further case studies.
Please contact the Dogs Trust Press Office for full survey results, images, filming requests, details of the Dogs Trust Rehoming Centres across the UK and general information on dogs:
National Spokespeople include:
- Clarissa Baldwin, OBE, Dogs Trust Chief Executive
- Paula Boyden, Dogs Trust Veterinary Director
All figures are estimates based on an assumption that responding authorities are representative of authorities as a whole. Results relate to the period 1st April 2011 to 31st March 2012.
The 2012 survey was produced by GfK NOP who mailed questionnaires to all 377 local authorities in England and Wales. 327 Local Authorities responded to the survey, with an additional 26 authorities in Northern Ireland submitting partial data. All of the 26 authorities in Northern Ireland responded, giving an overall response rate of 81% across all 403 local authorities.
Dogs Trust is working towards the day when all dogs can enjoy a happy life, free from the threat of unnecessary destruction.