Beloved dog home again after four months
Thursday, 19th February, 2015
By Emily Roberts
The pound and City Council’s animal control officers are finding that some pet dogs are being taken in by strangers who keep them.
A recent incident where a missing dog was returned to a family after four months has raised concerns.
Council’s Animal Control Officer, Alicia Stewart, said they believe the dog, Jack, had been looked after instead of being taken to the pound.
The Mullins family lost Jack in November and have been regularly searching for him ever since.
They put posts on Facebook pages and checked with pound and RSPCA regularly.
Then, by chance, their dog was taken to the pound on Monday.
His microchip was scanned and the Mullins’ were contacted.
“We believe, given the condition the dog was in and the time frame he was missing, that someone was feeding him and caring for him,” Ms Stewart said.
“We would encourage people who find strays to bring them straight into the pound.
“He was checked and was able to go straight home.”
Ms Stewart said this seems to be a regular occurrence.
“I don’t know if people think they are helping the animal by caring for it,” she said.
“But if it belongs to someone else they have a moral and legal right to get the animal back.
“It’s actually an offence to keep an animal that doesn’t belong to you. Fines can be issued.”
Ms Stewart said the pound was open during the week and Saturday and Sunday mornings.
“If you find it after that time and are nice people, you can hold on it overnight. But then it needs to be taken to the pound, so the owners can be found as soon as possible.”
Ms Stewart said Ms Mullins youngest son was very happy to have his buddy back.
“He kept saying ‘I’ve got my Jack-Jack back’.
“Having the dog missing for so long just put unnecessary strain and worry on the family.
“And who’s to say that after that length of time they didn’t go out and get another dog for their children?
“Then we find their old dog - we have had that happen before.”
She said people who find animals can express their interest in adopting them if they aren’t claimed by their owners within seven days.
Sarah-Jane Mullins said her children had been worried about Jack since he went missing.
“We were worried the worst happened, but I said to the children that someone might have him,” she said.
“They weren’t very happy about that. When we were contacted about the pound, I thought it was about my other two dogs.
“We were so relieved to find out Jack was okay.”
Mrs Mullins said because Jack was so small he could get out of a lot small gaps.
“He kept getting out, so we got him microchipped. We did the right thing.”