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RSPCA Calls for Action

pet insurance rspcaOne of Britain’s leading pet charities is calling for the introduction of dog licences, as their call centres struggle to cope with at least one call an hour reporting an abandoned dog. British pet owners are up in arms after the latest figures released by the RSPCA showed a worrying trend among dog owners to dump their pets when times turn tough.

The global financial crisis of 2009 is being cited as a possible catalyst for the widespread abandonment of dogs across Britain, causing the RSPCA to take a stand and request the immediate implementation of a national dog licence.

RSPCA Alarming Stats

In 2009, a total number of 11,574 calls from the British public were handled by RSPCA staff, and the statistics out this month reveal 2010 is destined for similar heartache, with 3,500 calls taken in the first quarter alone.

This is despite the relatively high punishment-by-law that is being threatened by British courts. Owners who abandon their pets can face a fine of up to £20,000 and/or six months in prison. Critics are arguing these measures are rarely enforced, especially in more lenient recent times.

RSPCA Urges Dog License

The RSPCA believe the funding generated from a national dog licence scheme could fund a number of important initiatives such as dog cruelty and abandonment, anti-social dog behaviour, irresponsible breeding and, alarmingly, the risks to human health from dog-related disease.

David Bowes, head of external affairs at RSPCA confirms: “Every year, we sadly see thousands of dogs heartlessly abandoned throughout England and Wales. The RSPCA and various organisations work tirelessly to help the poor animals that are cast aside in such a reckless manner.

“But we believe that a dog licensing scheme could provide a solution to this ongoing problem and help make sure that people who do dump their dogs don’t get away with this criminal offence.

“We hope that an effective licensing scheme providing traceable ownership could help to track down the people who are committing a criminal offence by abandoning an animal.”

Public Support for RSPCA Cause

And it appears the British public are behind the concept. An RSPCA commissioned survey revealed that 76 per cent of people asked believe a dog licence should be enforced in England and 66 per cent of the dog owners asked, would welcome a licence scheme.

The dog licence scheme is set to be one of the hottest topics in the pet industry this year, along with the potential introduction of compulsory dog insurance for Britain’s dog owners. We see a lot of value in introducing the dog licence scheme; we believe it makes dog owners accountable for their dogs’ actions, and equally as important, their own.

What do you think? Is the RSPCA right to suggest a national dog-licensing scheme? Should it be voluntary? Have you seen a different scheme in operation elsewhere? We’d love to hear your thoughts on the issue, and your fellow readers are always open to hearing different points of view.

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