BRIMINGTON: Family anger over dog warden fees

NDET 20-5-13 RKH 13  Kathy and Ben Fullwood  waiting for the return of their dog Saffy.
NDET 20-5-13 RKH 13 Kathy and Ben Fullwood waiting for the return of their dog Saffy.

A mother-of-two on benefits has been left devastated after dog wardens took her beloved pet and slapped her with a fine that she can’t afford to pay.

Kathy Fullwood, 47, of Summerfield Crescent, Brimington, said her 14-year-old son left the gate open and Saffy – a German shepherd cross – ran out into the street.

“I ran out into the road shouting after him, but he wasn’t anywhere” said Kathy.

Wardens from Chesterfield Borough Council had taken Saffy. When Kathy called the council she was told she had to pay £47 plus £15 a night before she could take Saffy home.

Kathy added: “How am I supposed to afford that? I am a stay at home mum on benefits. I asked if I could pay in installments and they said I had to pay within eight days or he would be rehomed.

“I am so upset and the children are. We have had her since being a puppy and she’s 10 now.”

The dog – who is microchipped – is currently in council kennels on Broomhill Road, Old Whittington.

Councillor Chris Ludlow, Chesterfield Borough Council’s executive member for environment said: “While it is distressing for any dog owner to lose their pet, we have a duty under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to take in dogs to keep them, and our residents, safe.”

“There is a statutory fine of £25 for the owner of any lost dog and the council must pay £15 per day to the kennels for the dog’s upkeep and towards providing this service to the public out of hours This means that for any lost animal, we only charge a £7 administration fee. All proceeds go towards the cost of providing the statutory dog warden service and to reduce the cost to the tax payer.

“Of the 200 dogs lost each year, the majority are returned to their owners within an eight day period after the dog is taken in. After this time, we will look to re-home them if possible.”