A LIFELINE is to be handed out to stray dogs in Huddersfield.
Councillors were today expected to approve a plan to stop strays being put down.
Instead, the council will work with animal charities to try and rehome the dozens of strays they have to deal with every week.
The decision will be made by the council’s Cabinet this afternoon and the move has been welcomed by The Dogs Trust, which works to save dogs.
And it follows news last week that Marina Kennels, which has taken in stray dogs for many years, faces closure.
The people running the kennels off Leeds Road claim they cannot afford the £25,000 it would take to put in a new drainage system at their canalside site.
Last year, Kirklees Council was branded one of the worst in the UK for putting down dogs.
A stray was given a lethal injection despite pleas from rescue charities to give it a stay of execution.
The animal was picked up in Emley and put down despite offers from a dog rescue charity to rehome it.
The council said the dog was feral and destroyed it.
Kirklees Council plans to stop killing stray dogs
HEALTHY dogs will no longer be put down, councillors will pledge today.
Kirklees Council’s Cabinet is expected to support a new policy which will save dozens of dogs from death.
Last year council wardens picked up 860 dogs, of whom 61 were put down.
But now Kirklees plans to work with the Dogs Trust to bring this number down. They want to encourage micro-chipping and neutering to cut the number of strays.
Dogs Trust regional campaigns manager Denise Gilgallon has worked with Kirklees officials to draw up the plan.
She said: “This is really exciting for Kirklees. We’ve had quite a few meetings with the council to come up with a way of makings sure dogs are safe from destruction.
“We believe that every dog deserves the chance of a happy and healthy life and we hope to start finding permanent loving homes for them. Getting more stray dogs into homes will reduce the destruction rate.”
Kirklees has previously been branded “one of the worst” in the country for dog destruction. The claims were made last summer after the council put to sleep a stray dog that was found in Emley – despite offers from a charity to rehome it.
The council’s Cabinet will decide today whether to support a report from council officers called: “Working towards a non-destruct policy for dogs”. Kirklees is the first council in West Yorkshire to consider such a move.
Last week, Marina Kennels – which has taken in stray dogs for many years – announced it would have to close because of costly work that is required at their site.
If the council plan gets the go-ahead, workers from the Dogs Trust will move in to areas of Kirklees with a serious stray dog problem.
Ms Gilgallon said: “Once the council have identified the target areas, we will go in to offer micro-chipping and neutering. Normally we do a leaflet drop and put up posters to inform people about our services.”
Ms Gilgallon added that micro-chipping your dog helped reduce the destruction rate. She said: “When a dog warden picks up a stray dog with a micro-chip, they can scan the dog and find their owner’s address. It’s a way of saving your dog from unnecessary destruction.”
The Dogs Trust will also encourage owners not to let their pets roam free. Ms Gilgallon said: “We promote responsible dog ownership, particularly when the dog is at risk of either siring or producing a litter.”
Kirklees has been criticised in the past for destroying healthy dogs.
Last July the council was branded “one of the worst” in the country for dog destruction.
Christine Hurst, of Pups and Muts Dog Rescue made the claim after Kirklees put to sleep a stray dog that was found in Emley.
A kennel in Nottinghamshire had offered to take the unnamed dog and give it behavioural therapy.
But Kirklees refused the offer, saying the animal was hopelessly feral. It was then put to sleep by lethal injection.