Urgent message from East Devon District Council for all dog owners – please could you ensure that your dogs have tags and chips at Christmas
East Devon’s Home Safeguard team members recently extended their caring remit when they responded to a call late one evening from a concerned member of the public who had found a dog, which had lost both its tag and its owner at Exmouth Railway Station.
The finder called the council's out of hours service, but it was too late for the dog to be collected by the contract kennels used by the council. Not wishing the dog to be left out in the cold, staff from Home Safeguard offered to take care of the abandoned pooch for the night...
East Devon’s Home Safeguard Manager Sue Hodges takes up the story:
I was on duty and received a call from a taxi driver who had found a dog at Exmouth Railway Station, but unfortunately he was in no positon to look after it, which meant the dog would have to be left at the station. We checked our system, but there was no report of any lost dog to match up with it.
The taxi driver said the dog was very scared, but it seemed there was no alternative but to leave the dog at the station. However, he kindly made sure that the dog was left with some food and water.
After our conversation I was, of course, very worried about the dog. So after speaking to my daughter Louise who lives in Honiton and works for the Recycling and Waste team at East Devon, she offered to drive to Exmouth to see if she could find the dog and bring it back to Sidmouth, so I could look after it until the morning, when it could be collected by the contract kennels that we use. There was no guarantee that the dog would still be there when she reached the station, but thankfully he was. Louise brought him straight over to the Home Safeguard offices in Sidmouth where he stayed for the night under my desk, hardly moving he was just so scared.
The next morning we were able to successfully trace his owner and reunited Bungle (as we discovered he was called) with him, much to the owner’s relief and the dog’s evident joy.
East Devon District Council would like to remind all dog owners how important it is for their dogs to wear a secure collar and tag at all times. Anyone finding a lost dog can then make quick direct contact with its owner. As it turned out, Bungle was microchipped, but we weren’t able to scan him until the next day, causing a night of worry and distress for his owner.
The council would also like to suggest that the owners of any lost dogs contact us as soon as they know they are missing, as found dogs are often notified to us and we will do everything we can to quickly reunite dogs with their owners. Unfortunately, we do have to charge the owners of lost dogs for any collection and kennelling costs incurred, so it is much better if a dog can be reunited without our involvement as no costs are involved.