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19 August 2010, 00:00
Plea after abandoned dog total this year passes 500 - It costs £40,000 a year to run the service for rehoming strag dogs
A stray dog nicknamed Gypsy is hoping for a happy new home after surviving an 11 mile, three day Medway adventure.
The cheerful collie-cross is currently at Jasmil Kennels in Upchurch, near Sittingbourne, after somehow pawing a path to High Halstow from Rainham.
Gypsy, a name given by kennel staff, is one of more than 500 lost or abandoned dogs collected so far this year by Medway Council’s team of Community Officers.
Gypsy was found in High Halstow on Friday, August 13 by a resident and taken to a veterinary surgery in Chatham before being collected by the Council.
She was one of a record 103 taken to the kennels in July. Of that number 35 have been reunited with their owners and 25 re-homed. The remainder are still waiting.
The dogs receive medical checks and treatment if necessary. They are kept for an initial seven days in case owners call or are traced. After that period the majority of unclaimed dogs are re-homed.
A total of 543 dogs from Medway have been taken to the kennels between January 1 and August 17 2010. The council collected 858 strays during the last municipal year to March, 31 2010.
Cllr Mike O’Brien, Medway Council’s portfolio holder for Community Safety and Enforcement, says:
“It is heartbreaking as a dog owner myself that such a high number of pets are abandoned each year and left to such an uncertain fate. It doesn’t seem a good way to treat man’s best friend.
“We are lucky in Medway that the vast majority of dogs taken to the kennels are re-homed thanks in large part to the dedication of its staff and close working with the Council team.
“In other parts of the UK they would not be so lucky and if a home isn’t found could end up having to be put down.
“My plea to people considering getting a dog is please think it through. Be aware of the task you are taking on and the responsibilities that come with it.”