Councils around the UK run a Dog Warden (sometimes called Animal Warden) service. This provides a stray collection, some education and poop prosecutions. Or it should. Policing of dog problems by councils is a huge expense yet there is reluctance to fund a proper education solution. For several years I have contacted councils around the UK to gain funding for a scheme of referral to try and stop the repeat offenders. There has not been one that has taken it up.
Councils are spending lots of money on dog control orders and taking dog owners to court over noise, nuisance and stray dogs. Whilst some dog wardens can, and do give some advice, they are not behaviourists. The problems are never solved and go on to need more money spending. Surely it is more cost effective all round to run a scheme where owners who receive a complaint are required to attend a behaviour session.
Councils are only obliged to provide this service during office hours. A few do run an out of hours collection service, often privately contracted. This means that in most areas a stray dog out of hours is simply left loose unless a kind member of the public takes it in.
Yes it needs funding. To pay the trainers, to probably pay for neutering and flea/wormers and to follow up. But if the end result is that some owners stop offending and costing thousands surely it is worth it?
A new campaign is starting where we will again contact councils to run a pilot. We want to help dogs by educating owners. The councils want to educate owners to cut the costs of nuisance complaints. Surely this is worth a pilot?
If you have any contacts within your councils, please ask them to come and view this page or ask them to contact us. If you are the victim of a complaint, please contact your council and ask them if they would work with us to help you.
The idea basics:
- Every person receiving a complaint is automatically referred to a behaviourist for advice/assessment
- Financial assistance is offered for neutering, worming and flea treatment
- An advice pack is given to owners
- A report is made to the council regarding the assessment
- Follow up is done after 4 weeks
- Records are kept for comparison purposes for ongoing assessment of impact against previous years of complaints
Any ideas welcomed.