Our local MP turned up in his constituency at the end of last week for a photo opportunity at the Blue Cross Animal Adoption Centre on the outskirts of Hedge End, as reported on his own web site and by The Echo.
Now I think it is fair to say that Chris has a lot on his plate at the moment, so it was good to see that he found the time to publicise the very real problems that dog, and other animal, rehoming charities are facing.
Even before the Coalition started to grind the economy to a standstill, these rehoming centres were taking in more unwanted dogs than they could place in new homes. It is a depressing and little publicised fact that thousands of healthy dogs are killed every year in the UK because there are simply not enough homes for them. Meanwhile puppy farms and private breeders continue to try to make a buck from mugs who are willing to hand over ridiculous sums of money for the latest fashionable breed or cross.
So, respect to our MP for giving the problem some publicity. It’s just a shame that the government appears to be going down the path of making life harder for all dog owners and is ignoring the issue of uncontrolled breeding which lies at the root of the problem.
It’s also a shame that the Lib Dems on Eastleigh Council voted in July to designate the Blue Cross site and the surrounding green fields a possible location for housing or industrial development. It seems our councillors don't care too much about the 100-year history of the Blue Cross, or the 24 local jobs it provides, or the investment the charity has made in its facilities at Bubb Lane. According to the Council's Strategic Land Availability Assessment , there is the potential for up to 1380 houses there. Where will the unwanted dogs go then?
(Jack, in the photo, is an alumnus of the RSPCA Ark at Stubbington, but agreed to the picture being published to express his solidarity with all canine comrades looking for a new home.)
Link to Blue Cross
Link to Stubbington Ark