Council asks for views on services for dogs
28 June 2019Cheshire West and Chester Council is asking for views on its dog warden and stray dogs services.
The current contract is coming to an end and following a review the council is consulting residents on a number of changes.
The proposed changes aim to improve the service so it better fits the demands placed on it, and at the same time, ensures the Council’s keeps within budgets.
The Council is proud that its existing dog warden and stray dog service has achieved the RSPCA’s Gold Paw Print Award for the seventh consecutive year. Councils are required by law to provide a stray dog collection service and although there are no legal minimum service standards, this award is presented to authorities that achieve high standards in animal welfare.
The Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Strategic Transport, Councillor Karen Shore said: “One of the key changes we’re proposing is for dog wardens to be on duty on Saturdays and Sundays and we’re also going to change duty times during the week to better suit demand.
“Loose dogs can then be collected at weekends and we will be able to reunite lost pets with their owners whereas now all dogs are taken direct to kennels at weekends.
“By changing their duty hours we can ensure that our dog wardens are available when a significant number of people are off work so there will be more opportunities for them to engage with dog owners. They can then be present at events like summer fairs or at other locations popular with dog owners.
“I would like to encourage as many people as possible to get involved with this consultation and have their say in improving this service – both dog owners and non-dog owners. We’ll also be contacting doggie day care and dog boarding services for their input.”
Other changes detailed in the consultation include a free training course on responsible dog ownership, the legal requirements involved, dog welfare and basic dog training.
In order to ensure a fairer and more consistent approach to charging, and keep other charges (eg, kennel charges) as low as possible, it is also proposed to introduce a charge of £40 if the dog warden is called out to deal with a stray dog, even if it is possible to reunite the dog with its owner without taking the dog to kennels. In these circumstances, it is also proposed to offer a part-refund (for example, of 50%) if the owner attends one of the training courses offered.
The £40 is only charged if the dog is reunited with its owner by the dog warden; otherwise, if the dog is taken to kennels, the release/kennel fees apply (£82.80 on the first day and £10.80 for each subsequent day).
The six week consultation period starts on 28 June and closes on 11 August 2019. People can tell us what they think give their views on the proposals by taking part in an online survey at: www.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk/dogwardenconsultation
Comments can also be emailed and paper copies of the survey can be requested via the following methods: