Dog Warden for Colchester

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Colchester council currently do not have an out of hours dog warden. Stray/lost dogs are being left to roam the streets or fall into the wrong hands because currently there is nowhere safe for them to go. This puts not only dogs in danger, but members of the public also, as they can cause road traffic accidents or be aggressive.

Colchester council's answer as to why there is no out of hours dog warden/kennel in place is; "Unfortunately we do not offer an out of hours but we do offer free dog chipping and raise awareness of this so lost dogs don't end up at the vets/kennels. Afraid the reason we can't offer out of hours is money - it would require quite a few more members of staff plus overtime." - CBC Officer.

I advised that Braintree council tax is a lot less than what Colchester pays, yet they can provide this service, I have yet to have a response to this statement. Other councils in Essex that provide an out of hours services/kennels for stray dogs include: Basildon, Castle Point, Maldon, Rochford, Southend, Thurrock, Uttlesford.

The dog warden for Colchester borough currently works Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. If a dog is found anytime other than this the member of public is advised to take it themselves (putting the individual at risk) to the out of hours vets, who can check for a microchip and contact the owner if possible, but cannot board strays due to needing the space for emergency patients needing critical care. This is understandable as it is an emergency vets, not a boarding kennel.

Since 2008 Essex police do not have the responsibility, or facilities, to take in stray dogs.

The RSPCA no longer collect stray dogs due to being a charity already stretched too thin, and focus on dealing with injured animals and cruelty cases as priority. So this is not an option either. 

This is not good enough, it is the council's responsibility to ensure lost/stray dogs have somewhere safe in place to be taken to at all times, not only for the safety of the public, but because it is a basic animal welfare right. 

Please sign this petition and help the argument of getting this service back in place.