Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has raised awareness of dog welfare today after figures obtained by the party showed that one in nine dogs found by local authorities which aren’t then claimed are put down.
The figures, obtained through freedom of information laws, showed that local authorities have found 12,530 lost or abandoned dogs in the past four years. Of those, 3248 were rehomed and 395 were put down.
The shocking figures come as answers to Lib Dem parliamentary questions also show there have been 92 recorded offences of cruelty to dogs in the past two years.
Mr Rennie said:
"A dog is supposed to be "a man's best friend" but too often the old rules don't apply to the modern day.
"That 12,530 lost or abandoned dogs have been found by local authorities in the past four years is a poor reflection of the attitude of some to loyal friends. Whilst many of these are upsetting cases where families lose their pet, there are too many cases where dogs are subjected to brutal treatment.
“Our figures show that of those dogs which aren’t claimed by their owners, one in nine are put down. With 92 recorded offences of cruelty to dogs in the past two years, much more needs to be done to protect dogs and promote responsible dog ownership.
“These sad figures give genuine meaning to the phrase that dogs are for life, not just for Christmas.”