Friday, 29 June 2012

Every Dog Has Its Day

Are you talking about me? 
Pooch problems in Hedge End and Eastleigh are rare, says Council cabinet member with responsibility for environmental health, Anne Winstanley.  Bishopstoke's Cllr Winstanley is new to the environmental health portfolio, having taken it over from fellow cabinet member and Hedge End Town Council Chair Cllr Louise Bloom earlier this year.

Change of Kennels for Eastleigh Strays

One of her first actions has been to move Eastleigh Borough Council's stray dog kennels from Warren Avenue in Southampton to Bishops Waltham.

The Bishops Waltham kennel is marginally closer to Hedge End than the old facility in Southampton, and probably easier to get to for most people.  According to Cllr Winstanley the change of service provider has been made following a best value review, and Winchester City Council use the same kennels.

The Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act terminated the police's role in dealing with stray dogs, and since 2008 local councils have had the responsibility.  If a missing dog is reported the same day it goes missing, it will most likely still be in holding kennels in Eastleigh and can be reclaimed from the Council's dog warden before it even gets to the Bishops Waltham kennels.

Dog Wardens Do Microchips

As the dog's owner will be charged for kenneling costs when they recover their straying pet, it makes sense to get reunited as quickly as possible.  Dog wardens will scan stray dogs for microchips and try to contact the owners according to the information on the chip or on the dog's collar tag.

As dogs can escape when they are not wearing their collar, or the tag could fall off, it makes sense to have dogs microchipped, and Eastleigh Borough Council will do it for only £15 in the comfort of the dog's own home.  That seems to me to be good value for money and a good council service.   Although some charities will do it free, owners would have to take their pets to the charity, and vets normally charge £20-30, again at the vet's own surgery.  Following a government consultation that finished on June 15th, microchipping may in any case become compulsory for dog owners.

Animals Victims of Recession 

Cllr Winstanley tells me that the number of stray dogs picked up in Eastleigh is relatively low:  only 109 across the whole Borough in the last year.  Seventy-seven of them were reunited successfully with their owners.  Of the remainder, 26 were not claimed and were rehomed through animal charities,  and six were euthanised (five because of behavioural problems and one because it was considered to be a banned breed under the Dangerous Dogs Act).

It's an unfortunate consequence of the recession that people who can no longer afford their dogs are having to make the heartbreaking decision to give them up for rehoming. Rehoming charity The Blue Cross, which has an adoption centre in Bubb Lane,  has seen a 28% increase in the number of animals dumped or abandoned.

Dog Fun Day

On a lighter note, the Council's annual Dog Fun Day is due to take place this year on September 8th.  Hedge End Blogger has attended past fun days both as a member of the public and as a volunteer helper and can confirm that it is a thoroughly enjoyable, entertaining and informative event.  Councillors and members of staff at the Borough Council give up their spare time to help run the event, which also has a serious educational purpose in encouraging responsible dog ownership.

It's a shame that Eastleigh Conservatives seem to want to cancel the event to judge by questions from Cllr
Grajewski at February's Full Council. 

Lost and Found Dogs

To report a lost or found dog during office hours, call 023 8068 8329.
The evenings and weekend contact number is 01489 892760


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. £8,000 for a dog fun day?
    Good grief, whatever next? £60,000 to sponsor a Polish dance company?
    I think Cllr Grajewski might have a point when there is a budget of only £2,000 being allocated to implementing the Council's alcohol strategy - despite worsening alochol related health and ASB trends and increasing levels of risky drinking borough wide.
    The other thing is as a cat lover (and there are many of us in Eastleigh) why should I subsidise a dog fun day? I hate the yappy, untrustworthy animals!!
    Are we moggy lovers getting a cat fun day as well?
    Another example of the council's anti-cat bias is the council's ongoing dog chipping subsidy.
    The council will currently microchip a dog for only £10 - a huge discount compared to vet prices.
    When I phoned to make an appointment for my cat it was refused - although the chips can be used for cats as well.
    Officer told me that cats are too 'unpredictable' to chip - they could injure an officer!
    Dog lover talk that is!
    I've never heard of a moggy eating a toddlers face off.

    (Duplicate post deleted)

  3. I think a cat fun day would be a great idea. Not sure what cats do for fun though, apart from torturing small birds and rodents. In the same way that the dog fun day is used to educate dog owners on the responsibilities of dog ownership, a cat fun day could be used to educate cat owners to pick up the faeces their cat leaves in other people's gardens, and to keep their moggies inside at night or have them wear a bell so that our wildlife can hear them coming.

    And the council should be willing to microchip cats as well, although as they don't have a legal duty to round up cats roaming free in the borough and then kennel them there's less of a requirement to be able to id their owners.

  4. Good we are all agreed then. The Southern Counties Cat Show is held annually at Fleming Park - perhaps the council could start by subsidisng that? I'd hate the council to favour one particular interest group over another.
    Cat owners could be encouraged to put litter trays for their pets. Our cats prefer to crap indoors if a tray is put down - even when the cat flap is open. We have even caught the neighbour's cat using it.
    I find copies of Focus, Borough News and Eastleigh News Extra make for excellent tray liners being plentiful and freely available.(of course I always carefully remove pictures of our beloved Great Leader first)
    It would also be a good idea to tie bells around dog collars.
    I certainly never heard the dog that attacked me on Bishopstoke playing fields coming, as I was jogging into the wind and it attacked from behind.
    Its true that Tiddles has presented us with numerous 'presents' in various states of animation but alas it seems to have no effect on Central Eastleigh's burgeoning rodent population.
    Perhaps cat ownership could be encouraged so we can sack a few people in environmental health and keep council tax down for the next century?

  5. Cats.....?

    Well I know what next doors cat does for fun. I trod in it the other day, when walking across the lawn at the front of my house...

  6. Neighbour's cat s******g in the middle of your lawn Ray? Are you quite sure it was the cat? I mean cats usually like to cover it up and go for earth or gravel.
    Sounds suspicious to this the same neighbour who has the pressure washer?