Its is even more difficult if there has been no sighting of them, thoughts go flooding through your head and I guess you would never come to terms of saying goodbye.
But what if they returned? Well, that is exactly what has happened…
After almost an amazing 5 years of ‘travelling’ Nottingham and maybe further afar, Bella was reunited with her family only because of the great work by Community Protection’s Dog Control Team.
When Bella was found she appeared to have some lower back injuries, she was scanned and the dog chip was identified. The chip company, Anibase, gave details along with two contact numbers, and an address. They also noticed that the account flagged up that the dog had been reported missing four and a half years ago, but they assumed it was an old case and needed resetting.
Ben Parker who had collected Bella phoned the numbers that were provided and left an answering phone message stating that he had picked up a brindle SBT called Bella and could they contact the office. ‘Around an hour later I was contacted by the office who said they had taken a call from a lady who was in tears saying that Bella had been stolen four and a half years ago’ Ben explained.
‘I rang Elounda and explained that I had Bella and that I would bring her back home, Elounda was very emotional and we broke into tears. When I arrived at the address Elounda was waiting outside the address with her mum and children. Bella knew right away that she was home and went to sit on her cushion that was still in the living room from nearly five years ago. Everyone was very emotional and although Bella was 5 years older and a lot greyer, she settled in back home.’
Stats and figures:-
In Nottingham City, stray dogs are managed by Community Protection’s Dog Control Team. Under legislation, local authorities have a statutory duty to provide a stray dogs’ service, seizing stray dogs and aiming to reunite lost pets with owners.
Every year, the team deals with over 600 stray dogs. Including costs of kennelling, vetinary bills and fixed costs such as staff, equipment and transport, this costs the local authority in excess of £160,000 a year.
Each capture and management of a stray dog costs between £50-£150 each time; and the team regularly deal with the same dogs. After seven days, if the dog has not been reclaimed by the owner, it becomes property of the local authority and is moved to a re-homing kennel. The sad reality is that some dogs are not re-homable, due to aggression or veterinary advice and the team has no option but to have the dog euthanised.
Nottingham City , like many large and densely populated cities, has a problem with the over breeding of Staffordshire Bull Terriers (SBT). In many occasions used for fighting and as a ‘status symbol’, over 70% of the dogs picked up by the team are SBTs or cross-breeds.
By law, dogs are required to wear a collar bearing the name of the owner and their contact details, but this is difficult to enforce and adds an additional cost to what the pet owner must pay to have the dog released. On many occasions, the pet owner will be unable to pay the release fee and dog becomes property of the local authority, thus incurring costs for re-homing or euthanised.
In addition, in March 2016, micro chipping will become law. This will require every dog owner in the UK to have their dog micro chipped. Financial penalties will be imposed on those that don’t; potentially increasing the demand on the Stray Dogs service, as pet owners are unable to pay increased release fees that include micro chipping.
The current economic climate has had a profound effect on the service, as increased numbers of people who are unable to continue to pay for the ongoing cost of their pet, simply stray them.
Contact 0207 8370006 for more details or visit www.chipmydog.org.uk