Dog owners urged to help Council tackle stray dogs

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Bolsover District Council is dealing with around two stray dogs every week costing the Council thousands of pounds every year.

In the last 12-months the authority has dealt with 93 incidents of stray dogs secured by the public, an increase of six on the previous year.

But most of these stray dogs could be avoided if the owners made sure their pet was wearing a collar and their microchip information was up to date.

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Bolsover District Council Cabinet Member for the Environment, Councillor Anne Clarke said, “We are a nation of dog lovers and the majority of owners are responsible, so we would much prefer to reunite a lost or stray dog with their owner right away where possible and avoid any distress and additional fees.”

Photo by Heshan Weeramanthri on UnsplashPhoto by Heshan Weeramanthri on Unsplash
Photo by Heshan Weeramanthri on Unsplash

Stray dog populations are often a result of abandonment, lack of responsible pet ownership, and ineffective population control measures and the Council is continuing to promote responsible dog ownership across the district.

The Control of Dogs Order 1992 law for England and Scotland states that a dog must wear a collar with its owner’s name and address on it while on a highway or in a place of ‘public resort’ but in addition to this the 2016 microchipping law came into force as well.

“Whilst we have not seen a huge increase in stray dog numbers, it is still an increase and one that we want to reduce and eliminate completely,” said Cllr Clarke. “The problem could be attributed to the fact that new dog owners are not aware of the laws or maybe owners have moved and not updated their microchip details. Whatever it is we need to work with our residents to address this issue.”

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Owners who fail to comply with the rules are in breach of an offence against the Animal Health Act 1981, which used to come under a fine capped ‘level 5’ which was previously capped at £5,000, but later changed in 2015 to become unlimited. Therefore, the maximum penalty on summary conviction will be up to six-month imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine.

For responsible pet ownership advice or to report stray dogs please call Bolsover District Council on 01246 242424. You can also report stray dogs through the website www.bolsover.gov.uk