An article published by the Glasgow Evening Times has lead to some concerned calls to Dogs Trust Glasgow from supporters worried that we have changed our policy to never put a healthy dog down. This is decidely not the case. We continue to offer a safe haven to all the dogs in our care for as long as is necessary to find them a home.
The article, entitled "PETS SUFFER IN KENNEL CRISIS: Dogs get put down as home is so full", actually pointed out that Dogs Trust Glasgow is so busy that it is having to turn dogs away; these dogs might end up in council pounds or other centres where they might be put down if a suitable home cannot be found swiftly. With the best will (and staff) in the world, there is only room for a certain number of dogs at each Centre.
Although all our Centres try to accommodate the unclaimed strays from their local area, they all have waiting lists for other dogs. The sad reality is that each Centre is offered many more dogs than it can possibly take and has to turn away dogs each and every day, simply because there is not enough room for them all. Nobody enjoys making this thoroughly unenviable choice but all the Rehoming Centres have to make such decisions every single day of the year.
In the past, volunteers and canine carers have taken some dogs home with them temporarily when the kennels have been full; everyone is dedicated to helping as many dogs as is possible given available resources. Our Stray Dogs Report highlights the extent of dog destruction through local authorities and helps us identify ways to improve the situation on all fronts: by educating owners to be more responsible, through neutering campaigns to reduce unwanted litters, by encouraging microchipping to make it easier for lost dogs to be reunited with their owners and much more.
Having said that, the situation is improving gradually all the time. Thanks to the generosity of our supporters and volunteers, the number of stray dogs is slowly dropping and last year Dogs Trust was able to care for over 16,000 dogs, over 14,000 of which were rehomed over the course of the year. We now have 17 Centres around the country, as well as Oakfield Old Dogs Home on the Dogs Trust Roden site, and work has just begun on Dogs Trust Dublin.
Please be reassured that no matter what the situation, Dogs Trust will never change the key message in its mission statement; the charity continues to work towards the day when all dogs have a happy life, free from the threat of unnecessary destruction.