Stray dog charge to double

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WIGAN’S ‘stray dog’ owners face being collared by a massive increase in kennel fees.

Council chiefs are considering increasing the charges by more than double to have man’s best friend returned home again.

They point out that the hike in fees – Town Hall chiefs are facing £47m cuts which could lead to 800-plus redundancies over the next three years – isn’t about boosting revenues.

It aims to better reflect the costs of kennelling strays as well as acting as a deterrent to those pet owners who act irresponsibly in letting their dogs stray.

From April, dogs reclaimed within 24 hours of arrival will be returned to owners for the sum of £55 (up from £25).

While pets that with the local authority for between 24 hours and seven days before being returned will cost their owners £85 (up from £46).

Dogs that have been seized previously will face a premium of a further £25 on top of the charges for the first time.

The Metro’s dog warden service will continue to use Wigan and Leigh Dogs Home in Leigh for contracted kennelling of strays.

Head of Wigan’s Safer, Cleaner, Greener Neighbourhoods Sally Wolstencroft said that it the current financial climate, it was felt that pet owners who allow their animals to stray should face charges that “better reflect” the actual costs of collecting and kennelling stray dogs.

Councillors had also requested a new fees scale which would deter owners who allow their pets to stray persistently.

She added that Leigh Cats and Dogs Home had been chosen to continue to supply the dog warden service with collection/kennelling services because it had been shown that very few other organisations inn the region were interested in providing it.

The kennelling needed to remain in Wigan area otherwise the costs of transporting animals and the inconvenience to the owners could result in more dogs not being reclaimed.

Ms Wolstencroft said: “These charges introduce the principle that dog owners not the tax payers are responsible for costs when animals stray.”