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Published : 13/07/2012 00:00

Elusive stray dog caught after steak out

The dedication and persistence of the council’s dog wardens have paid off after they rescued a stray that locals had reported seeing over the past four months.

Wardens were able to coax the greyhound into their care with steak after reports of the dog wandering the Newhall Road area of Belle Isle starting coming in, in February.

Despite numerous sightings, initial attempts to capture the stray – nicknamed Belle by wardens – were unsuccessful as her turn of speed and regular escape route across the wide, open spaces of Middleton Golf Course left locals and wardens in the starting blocks.

Although kind-hearted residents were feeding Belle, wardens were growing increasingly concerned for her welfare. With particularly wet weather recently and the potential for Belle to be hurt in an accident while roaming the streets, wardens were keen to keep her safe.

The wardens, supported by staff from the locality team, finally managed to put Belle’s extended bid for freedom to an end after tempting her taste buds with steak.

Having been checked over by a vet, Belle is reported to be suffering nothing worse than sore paws from living outdoors for such a long time. Vets have also detected a slight heart murmur.

An identification tattoo indicates she may come from Ireland, but it doesn’t provide any clues as to who her owners may be. Belle is now in the care of greyhound rescue charity Tia Greyhound and Lurcher Rescue.

Dog warden Gavin Jarrett said:

“We’re very relieved now that Belle is getting the attention she needs. She gave us the run around for a while but patience and bit of steak did the trick.

“We would love to return Belle to her owners, but unfortunately, she isn’t microchipped. If she had been, it would have taken us minutes to find out where she came from. All the details from the microchips are held on a national database so it wouldn’t matter how far she’d roamed.

“Microchipping doesn’t cost much, considering the distress it can cause if a much-loved pet does wander, and some organisations will even microchip dogs for free. We can’t recommend it enough.”

Councillor Mark Dobson, executive member for the environment said:

“Thanks to the patience and persistence of our staff, a potential tragedy has been averted.

“Stories like Belle’s only serve to remind us how important it is to be responsible dog owners and have our dogs microchipped.”

To help avoid more dogs like Belle wandering the streets unclaimed, Leeds City Council has teamed up with the Dogs Trust who will be offering free microchipping for dogs on Friday July 20.

Dog wardens will be on hand to chat to people about the new dog control orders in Leeds and offer their wealth of experience and advice to help Leeds residents be responsible dog owners.

Join the wardens and Dogs Trust at Watsonian Pavilion in Crossflatts Park, Beeston from 11 am to 3pm.

For media enquiries please contact:
Amanda Burns, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1577
email: amanda.l.burns@leeds.gov.uk

ENDS