Owners pay £22k to retrieve stray dogs

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DOG owners across the borough shelled out at least £22,000 collecting their pets from pounds.

Latest figures show that 825 dogs were picked up as strays and taken to pounds, but only 400 were reclaimed by their owners.

And the minimum cost of collecting an animal is £55, rocketing to £85 if the dog is impounded for more than 24 hours.

That means Wigan Council was paid between £22,000 and £34,000 by anxious dog owners desperate to get their pets back, in just one year.

Figures for 2010, revealed under the Freedom of Information Act, showed that, of the 825 dogs picked up by dog wardens, 361 were adopted from the pound and 72 had to be put down.

Leigh Dogs and Cats Home takes in many impounded dogs and acts as an agent for the council in the re-homing of the animals. Under the rules set out on Wigan Council’s website, a dog is likely to be picked up by a warden if it is without an owner or person representing them in a public or a private place in which it should not be.

The website states: “Wigan Council has a duty to collect stray dogs in the borough.

“When nobody is in control, dogs can cause problems such as road accidents, damage to property and indiscriminate fouling; they can even be aggressive; and their owners will never know what happened because they aren’t with them.”

If a dog is not reclaimed within seven days of being caught, it then becomes property of the council.

And nearly 10 per cent of all the dogs impounded had to be put down, which the response to the Freedom of Information Request states happens when a dog is “too sick or temperamentally unsound.”

Anybody looking for information on a lost dog can call 01942 404364, or they can also contact Leigh Dogs and Cats Home.