Chance to save death row dogs

I am pleased that Islington Council is considering making micro-chipping of dogs compulsory. Too many dogs end up on death row in a pound because the owners can’t be traced.

However, this is not the only problem. This country is experiencing an over population of dogs and animal shelters are full and sinking. Rising unemployment has resulted in more dogs being abandoned and at the same time donations to animal shelters are falling.

The only solution is for dogs to be sterilized unless it has health issues. A licence to breed should be required from the local council and the cost high enough to deter most people.

Approximately 100,000 strays are taken in every year by local authorities. On average, 11 stray and unwanted dogs an hour are handled by local authorities and every year over 7,000 of these dogs are put to sleep for want of a home. Even Battersea Dogs Home was compelled to put down a thousand dogs last year. There was no space for them all.

The vast majority of these are Staffordshire bull terriers which are being horrendously over-bred by people looking to make some easy money, or by hobby breeders who don’t do their research (or simply don’t care) about the over-breeding problem in the UK.

They have become the fashion accessory of youth. They are popular because they are fantastic dogs – affectionate and brilliant with adults and children. For many youths, Staffies offer them true companionship and responsibility in their uncertain lives. But instability in their circumstance can force them to pass their dogs on.

For some it’s a fleeting encounter as they are faced with an energetic and demanding dog. The worst case scenarios are where Staffies are exploited for puppy cash or regarded purely as status symbols offering a macho image. A high number of staffies become social discards before their first birthday. Very few are given the chance to see their second birthday.

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To continue breeding them when the rescue shelters are overflowing, whether it’s for money, for your own enjoyment, or just because “she has to have one litter at least” – is contributing to the deaths of thousands of dogs.

This is a national disgrace and a national tragedy. Please don’t breed your dog. Low cost neutering is available. Have your dog micro chipped in case it strays and please don’t buy but adopt from a shelter. – Sarah Thompson, Monsell Road, N4.