Dolly the white Lurcher – named after Dolly Parton, who’s heart she captured after being found seemingly abandoned in a discarded tent during the clean-up operation at Glastonbury – was finally reunited with her owner earlier this month.
Thankfully, it was a happy ending for Dolly. Sadly, that isn’t the case for the thousands of dogs who are abandoned for various reasons by their owners every year. Not only is abandoning any animal an unbelievable act of cruelty, but it is also a criminal offence to purposefully fail to provide for a dog’s needs by abandoning it.
What to do if you find an abandoned dog
If you do find a dog, don’t immediately assume that the animal has been abandoned, it may well have simply slipped its lead or escaped from a garden. Knock a few local doors to see if anyone recognises the dog. If this yields no fruit, or it is clear from the condition of the dog that he has been abandoned, then contact your local authority who will advise you what to do or they will come and collect the dog.
What happens to abandoned dogs in the UK?
The definition of an abandoned dog is one who is found wondering the streets, or reported by members of the public. All abandoned dogs are taken into the care of local authorities by dog wardens. It is then the responsibility of the local authority to deal with the dog at all times; this responsibility no longer lies with the police except in Scotland where responsibility is shared.
Legally, the dog’s owner then has seven days in which to collect their dog from the Local Authority. Once this seven day period is over, the Local Authority will hand over the stray or abandoned dogs to charities who will attempt to re-home the animals.
How can l re-home a dog?
If you are able to re-home a dog, start with some of the following reputable charities, and look out for our forthcoming blog on picking a rescue dog.