‘Kennel costs are a disgrace’

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A PROUD pet owner was left shocked after she had to pay more than £100 for the return of her missing dog.

Kathy Larcombe, of Bradville, branded the costs a disgrace after paying £103.40 to get her 10-year-old German/Belgian Shepherd, Taz, back from Forest Lodge Kennels.

Last Tuesday Kathy, her husband and five of her children went on a day trip to Great Yarmouth. When they returned, around 8pm they found the pet had gone missing.

Kathy said: “My 16-year-old son was at home and as soon as we got back he told us the dog was missing.

“He ran out of the house, ironically chasing a stray dog and, as my son grabbed his collar, he pulled his tag off.

“I called police and then put a message on a Lost and Found page on Facebook. I started to panic because he is a big dog and he’s not good off the lead. What if he hurt someone?”

Within minutes someone had replied telling Kathy to call Forest Lodge Kennels. But when she called she was alarmed at the costs she was quoted.

She said: “I was told they had him but as it was late I couldn’t pick him up until the morning and that it would be £103.40.

“I understand they need to cover costs but that’s more than a five-star bed and breakfast. As a council MK charges almost double some other authorities to pick up stray dogs. As a mum of six I couldn’t afford it so I had to borrow the money from my mum.”

However, while she was in there she spotted a dog she had seen on the Facebook site.

She said: “I asked if I could take it as well but the staff told me they knew the dog was there but they couldn’t afford to pay to take him out. It’s shocking.”

A spokesman for LostDogs.co.uk, North Buckinghamshire & Bedfordshire branch, said: “To comply with the Control of Dogs Act 1992 all dogs should be wearing a collar and tag in public.

“Owners who fail to do this are letting their pets down. Virtually every stray dog in Milton Keynes could avoid a trip to the local pound kennels if owners only did this.

“There is a hefty fine imposed by the council for the collection of strays dogs plus kenneling costs once they reach the pound, many local dog owners face the agony of not being able to reclaim their pet due to the fees, and at what cost? An engraved dog tag costing less than a pint or a sandwich.”