Stoke-on-Trent’s dog wardens are urging people to think carefully before buying a dog as a Christmas present.
The team is issuing the warning ahead of the festivities which have traditionally seen an increase in the number of puppies being given as gifts.
The city council’s dog wardens respond to 1,900 calls annually from residents reporting stray dogs or seeking advice about canines.
This Christmas they will be working during the break, on December 27 and December 28, to ensure that unwanted or lost animals are not left to wander the streets.
They will be working from 8.45am to 4.30pm and residents can contact them on 01782 234234.
Councillor Janine Bridges, cabinet member for housing, neighbourhoods and community safety, said: “Looking after a dog is a long term commitment. Animals take up a lot of time and cost a lot of money. They need regular exercise, feeding, training and grooming.
“Our dog wardens will this year be working during the Christmas holiday, responding to reports of animals that have been abandoned by their owners, forced to fend for themselves in freezing conditions. Before you buy someone a dog as a Christmas present, I would urge you to think long and hard about whether that person will be able to look after it properly. After all, a dog is for life not just for Christmas.”
The dog wardens carry out a range of duties including:
• Responding to reports of stray dogs
• Seizing dogs found to be straying in a public place
• Where possible matching reported lost dogs with strays that we have seized
• Enforcing the Dogs (Fouling of Land) Act 1996
• Promoting responsible dog ownership
• Dealing with injured and abandoned dogs in a public place such as on the street
• Microchipping service (chargeable)
More information on the dog warden service is available by visiting http://www.stoke.gov.uk/ccm/