Owners of stray dogs may be charged by the government for their animals’ return under plans to recoup some of the cost of retrieving them.
In the last financial year, more than 300 stray dogs were retrieved and returned to their owners.
It costs taxpayers between £100 and £140 for a dog to be picked up and returned but owners are currently only charged a minimal fee when their animal needs overnight kennelling.
In order to recoup some of the cost of taking them off the streets, the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture expects to consult soon on plans to also charge owners for the collection and return of their animals when overnight kennelling has not been necessary.
Until recently, DEFA employed a private warden to retrieve strays. From today (July 1), the department’s own staff will carry out this duty during normal working hours.
Out of hours the service will be operated by the ManxSPCA which successfully tendered for the contract. The ManxSPCA’s trained staff will assume the duty of Dog Warden from 5pm until 8pm on weekdays and 9am until 12 noon on Saturdays.
The police will respond to reports of dangerous dogs outside of these hours.
From today, the public should ring 686688 night or day to report stray dogs.
All stray dogs will, from today, be kennelled at Ard Jerkyll.
The ManxSPCA previously had an arrangement with the dog warden to deal with animals not claimed after the statutory seven-day period, by which the animal would be taken to Ard Jerkyll and gifted to the society for rehoming.
-The proposed collection and return charges mentioned above – plus the introduction of compulsory micro-chipping of dogs, (in line with other areas of the British Isles) with the resultant phasing out of licences – will be contained in law changes the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture (DEFA) plans to progress in the next parliamentary session.
‘The charity and DEFA share many animal welfare objectives, including the introduction of micro-chipping,’ said Phil Gawne MHK, Minister for Environment, Food and Agriculture.
‘We will continue to work together with DEFA to improve animal welfare and look forward to a long and mutually rewarding relationship,’ said Lyn Renshaw, sanctuary manager at Ard Jerkyll.