Cruelty of 1,732 dogs abandoned by owners

THEY may be called man’s best friend, but that has not stopped pet-owners in the north of the county dumping almost 2,000 dogs between 2008 and 2011.

The Evening Telegraph published an article last month about the number of stray dogs picked up and put down in 2011.

And, as part of our Your Right to Know campaign, information has been sought using the Freedom of Information Act to reveal the full extent of the problem.

The shocking figures show that 1,723 dogs were picked up, with 79 of those being put down.

Petrina Alderman, founder of Northamptonshire Animals Needing Nurturing and Adoption (Nanna), says her charity is over-run with abandoned pets.

She added: “I think it’s absolutely diabolical – it’s typical of our throw-away society.

“We get about 70 dogs in every year but they are only occasionally from the dog warden – I would say 50 per cent of those are strays.

“With the recession a lot of people are moving into rented accommodation and can’t take their dogs with them. They don’t know what to do so they dump them.”

In 2008-09, dog wardens from the north of the county’s four councils picked up 632 strays and put 34 of those to sleep.

In 2009-10, a total of 644 dogs were picked up and 30 put down, and in 2010-11, 447 were picked up by wardens, with 15 being put to sleep.

The latest numbers do show that fewer dogs were picked up, but it still means that in the north of the county more than one dog is being thrown out by its owners every day.

Between 2008 and 2011 more dogs were picked up in Kettering than anywhere else. Council wardens found 607 strays – more than a third of the total picked up in north Northamptonshire.

East Northamptonshire Council’s warden saw the fewest stray dogs, picking up 264 in total. The council has a policy of not putting strays down, but dangerous dogs may be if they cannot be re-homed.