A DISGRUNTLED dog lover from Camborne has criticised Cornwall Council after wardens refused to release her lost dog at the weekend.
April Edwards’ eleven-year-old Maltese toy Pip went missing on the morning of June 9, a Sunday.
At 11.45am Mrs Edwards received a call from the council advising her that Pip had been handed in and told she would have to wait until Monday morning to collect him from the Dolcoath Avenue offices, for a charge of £99. This included a £24 fee for two days at the kennel, a release fee of £40 and £35 out-of-hours fee.
“The council told me he could not be released because the paperwork had not been completed but I suspect they just wanted their fees,” the 70-year-old said.
“It is a hard-hearted business arrangement to them - a money-making scheme and a rip off.
“The council do not take into consideration how dog owners are feeling about losing their beloved pets like this.
“People who have heard about Pip are worried that if they lose their dogs, what happens if they can’t afford to pay the fees?”
Cornwall Council has defended its duty to seize and detain stray dogs in its area during normal working hours and out of hours including evenings and weekends.
A spokesman said the function of the out-of-hours service was to collect and house stray dogs until the next working day or until the owner can be identified. She said: “This is in line with the statutory guidance and reduces the inconvenience on the finders of stray dogs. The council does not, however, return dogs outside of normal office hours. This enables the authority to ensure the safety of our out-of-hours staff and gives the dog welfare officers the opportunity to provide advice to dog owners in order to prevent dogs straying again.
“The legislation also states that dog should not be returned to the owner unless they pay all the expenses incurred by reason of its detention. This ensures that the costs are met by the owner of the dog and not by council taxpayers in Cornwall.”