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Breakfast Wednesday, 14 August, 2002, 05:14 GMT 06:14 UK
Should all dogs be microchipped?
a litter of abandoned Great Dane puppies
around 12,000 stray dogs are put down each year
The number of stray dogs on Britain's streets has risen for the first time in six years.

There are now around 117,000 strays - equivalent to one dog for every 500 people.

That's an increase of three per cent on the previous year.

Breakfast reported live this morning from the National Canine Defence League's dogs home in Huyton on Merseyside


The area with the worst stray dog problem is Northern Ireland, with about one stray for every 150 people.

The figures come from the National Canine Defence League.Clarissa Baldwin, chief executive of the NCDL, said: "We are horrified that there are more dogs left to wander the streets this year, especially as the figure has been falling steadily each year.

"The silver lining is that fewer strays are being destroyed"

Dog Wardens are calling for dog owners to be more responsible: to get their pets neutered and also to microchip them, so that they can be returned to their owners if they get lost.

At the moment, just under half of all stray dogs are returned to their original owners.

Around 12,000 stray dogs are put down each year because they cannot be rehomed.

  • For more details about the National Canine Defence League's microchipping scheme call 020 7837 0006

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