The 2013 annual Stray Dogs Survey commissioned by the Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, reveals a shocking 111,986 stray and abandoned dogs were picked up by Local Authorities across the UK over the last 12 months, equating to a staggering 307 stray dogs being found every day. That obviously does not include those not caught. When you add cats, horses and other animals, the number is worryingly high.
With regards to cats and dogs in various rescue centres because either they are just not wanted or because people can no longer afford them, the number is even higher, though it appears there is no national database for UK figures, but most centres are overflowing, with few ‘adopted’ by new owners.
I think it is time to take some radical action:
All cats and dogs
- should be neutered at a fee of £5.00 per animal;
- should be registered for an annual fee of £10.00 per animal with a ‘chip’ inserted;
- should have a ‘pet passport’ which is checked annually for a subsidised fee of £25.00 per animal;
- should be no longer bred.
Such action will reduce the numbers considerably; would hopefully mean that those in shelters will be adopted; the horrible cases of cross-breeding for ‘fashion’ are stopped; the animals will be in a better state and thus cruelty will be reduced. Also, an education programme in schools and by other means needs to be set up by the animal charities to promote responsible ownership with inter-active activities.
I would also encourage animal charities to work together to seek better legislation that enables RSPCA to take more effective action. There are two many occasions where action is not taken because of the following reasons:
- legislation does not allow it
- some situations are not considered cruel, when they are eg horses standing in their own faeces in a museum
- not enough staff or funding
- the public do not take proactive actions
- it is often difficult to get through to charities in a simple manner
All the animal charities and the local authority inspectors would need extra funding from the Government on an initial basis to get the scheme on a sound footing.
Some charities need to merge to be more effective.