286 stray dogs put to sleep in NI last year

A dog in a pound
A dog in a pound

The number of stray dogs reluctantly put to sleep in Northern Ireland last year

was 286, the Dogs Trust annual Stray Dog Survey has revealed.

Although a frightening number, this was much less than the previous year when 409 stray dogs were put down.

The charity also revealed that the number of stray dogs on the street has fallen from 5,653 in 2015 to 5,515.

And it also emerged from the survey that 3,262 stray dogs in Ulster were not claimed by their owners and left in council kennels between 2015 and 2016.

Meanwhile of the stray dogs taken in across the region, only 1,534 were reported to have microchips, accounting for 28 per cent of all strays seized.

Ronnie Milsop, Dogs Trust Campaigns Manager for Northern Ireland, said: “Whilst it’s positive that the number of dogs put to sleep by local authorities has decreased, any dog destroyed for want of a home is one dog too many.

“We work very closely with the Local Authorities who should be commended on their efforts to encourage responsible dog ownership through neutering, microchipping and education over the past year.”

He added that since compulsory microchipping was introduced in April 2012, “we have seen a decline in the number of stray dogs picked up by local authorities which shows how important microchipping is in reducing the stray dog population”.

“We hope to continue our work with Local Authorities through our extensive campaigns to help them to tackle the issue of stray dogs and ensure that the number continues to decline over the years to come.”