Dog warden says missing dogs are ‘unusual’

Two further dogs were reported missing to the dog warden in North Devon last week.

TWO Staffordshire bull terriers reported missing in the Barnstaple area last week have sparked further fears over possible dog thefts.

Last week the Gazette reported how Challacombe farm owner Melanie Tucker’s collie dog Skip had vanished without a trace and Newton Tracey resident Charmaine Speed was worried her dogs had been targeted by would-be thieves.

Following the story, the Gazette received reports that the two more dogs had been reported missing from the Barnstaple area.

Steve Mountcastle, North Devon Council’s dog warden said it was very unusual for there to be no reported sightings of the animals.

“Usually when a stray is found, especially a Staffie, the owners are very quick to report it missing,” said Mr Mountcastle.

“Some weeks we can have, say, 20 to 25 phone calls where people have lost their dog, and normally we’ll be able to reunite 23 or 24 of those with their owners.

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“So it seems very unusual to me that there are no reports or any sightings of these two Staffies.

“And of course theirs is Mrs Tucker’s dog Skip who has gone missing in Challacombe.

“I have also heard of about three other dogs in the last three months from outside of the North Devon area that have gone missing.

“Why they have gone missing or what has happened, I couldn’t say, but it does surprise me that they haven’t been found.”

Mr Mountcastle is urging dog owners to invest in getting their dog microchipped.

“All owners should get their dog microchipped and invest in a good, strong collar and tag; to make it easier to reunite them with their owner should they go missing.”

The police confirmed they had not received any reports of any alleged dog thefts in the Barnstaple area in the last week.

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