TWO abandoned dogs in Wigan have had to be put down this year as they were unable to be rehomed.
New figures reveal that from April to August, 237 abandoned or stray dogs were seized by dog wardens - and two sadly had to be put down.
The council was unable to confirm why, but in most cases it is because they are deemed unwell or there is no possibility of a new home.
Of those taken into Leigh Dogs and Cats Home, 55 were Staffordshire Bill Terriers; 13 were cross breeds; 13 were cross Staffordshire Bulls; nine were lurchers and eight cross terriers.
Last year, from April 2014 to March 2015, 645 lost canines were picked up by the council, which had gone down from the previous period of 2013/14, with 713.
When dogs are found roaming freely they are usually taken to local kennels. If they are not claimed by their owners within a certain period, the kennel will try to find them a new home. But if a dog is not suitable to be rehomed, it risks being put down.
Paul Barton, interim assistant director for operational services, said: “The welfare of animals is a priority for us and when dogs are seized every effort is made to reunite them with their owner or to rehome them.”
New research has revealed that last year authorities across the country collected 66,247 stray dogs, a figure described as “staggering” by campaigners.
Around half of the animals were returned to their original owners, although just under 15,000 needed to be rehomed and, despite the efforts of councils and animal charities, it is claimed 4,231 had to be put down.
Madeline Pike, veterinary nurse at Direct Line Pet Insurance warned that the findings should remind those thinking about getting a pet of the saying “a dog is for life, not just for Christmas”,
She said: “The numbers speak for themselves - 66,247 stray dogs seized in the UK last year is a staggering amount. While it’s encouraging to see that the majority are either rehomed or reunited with their owners, the reality is that many end up having to be euthanised.
“We have a responsibility to ensure we can look after our dogs and ensure they don’t end up roaming the streets.”