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dogHow do you fancy becoming a foster carer…for a dog?

Medway Council is launching an innovative new scheme to place stray dogs in loving homes until full time owners can be found.

The council picked up around 1,000 stray dogs last year and, alarmingly, it’s a figure that’s growing and means kennel space is at a premium.

There are many reasons a dog ends up wandering the streets, sometimes it’s simply accidental and they’ve escaped from their owners, other times it can be more sinister as dogs are deliberately abandoned.

The rise in strays could be linked to people finding it tougher to afford to keep a pet. But around 300 dogs are returned to their owners each year because they are microchipped. You may not know it, but the council can offer you free microchipping for your pet – giving you complete piece of mind should it go missing.

For those dogs where the owners can’t be simply traced through a microchip, the future isn’t as bright. Once picked up by community wardens, they spend a week in the care of the council at Jasmil Kennels near Sittingbourne. If the owner is still not traced or doesn’t come forward to claim their dog, the kennels then become responsible for the pet and will try and find it a loving home.

If an owner can’t be found, the dog, sadly has to be put to sleep as a last measure. That’s a situation nobody wants to see and is why the new foster carers for pets scheme could help prevent that by placing dogs in an approved and loving home.

Placing them in a home while a full time owner is found helps free up space at the kennels and – more importantly – is better for the dog. Cllr Peter Hicks, Medway Council Portfolio Holder for Community Safety, said: “We hope our new initiative will provide a better future for dogs, who through no fault of their own, have found themselves on the streets.

“And it is vital owners get their pets microchipped. “Microchipping will be compulsory from 2016 but we can provide this service, free and now, in the comfort of your home.” Medway Council’s website has daily updated details and pictures of stray dogs in a bid to get them reunited with their owners quicker.

You can also find details of how you can re-home an unwanted dog at www.medway.gov.uk
Medway Council is to hold it’s fourth annual A Day for Every Dog event this summer.

Environmental Protection and Community Wardens will be out and about across Medway offering:

• Free microchipping
• Free agility training and dog behaviour advice from Borstal Barkers Dog Training
• Free advice on dog law and how it affects you
• Fun interactive sessions with dogs for children
• Free dog food samples.

You’ll be able to find us at the following locations:

• Wednesday 30th July – Gillingham Park
• Friday 1st August – Recreation ground rear of Laburnum Road, Strood
• Friday 8th August – Luton Recreation Ground
• Wednesday 13th August – The Vines, Rochester
• Friday 15th August – Recreation ground rear of Pottery Lane, Hoo
• Tuesday 19th August – Capstone Country Park
• Thursday 21st August – Hillyfields
• Saturday 23rd August – Riverside Country Park – including Dog Show
• Friday 29th August – Great Lines Heritage Park

Each day the event will run from 11am to 3pm. On Saturday 23rd August at Riverside Country Park we will also be holding a free fun dog show, exhibitors can enter their pooches into classes. Registration is from 11am and judging starts at noon.

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If you live within the distribution area of the Peninsula Times printed version, you will doubtless be aware of Anim-Mates charity and the good work that they do. If you have some time to attend one or both of these events you would be providing tremendous help to them. Plus you get to eat CAKE at one of the events and everyone likes cake!

Just to illustrate the kind of people they are. We found a cat hiding under our car at home, clearly injured and clearly in distress. We tried in vain to contact other animal charities for help without success. We called Anim-Mates and hoped, someone answered, not only did they answer but they gave us the address of a vet that could help and even called ahead to say that we were coming and any charge should be referred to them. Unfortunately the poor little cat died as a result of her injuries within a day or so and although it was a short period of time Anim-Mates were there and available to help when bigger and better known charities were not. Please help them if you can by going along to have some fun at these events.

If you can’t quite read the detail click on the image to make it huge!

fun auction 2013

Afternoon Tea 2013

Exploring Antarctica: The Final Expeditions of Scott and Shackleton

Credit: Royal Geographical Society

Credit: Royal Geographical Society

An exhibition of the ultimate expeditions of both Captain Robert Falcon Scott and Sir Ernest Shackleton – charted through the words, photographs and artefacts of those who survived and those who perished in this most hostile of environments – is being shown at The Historic Dockyard Chatham in No. 1 Smithery: The Gallery from 24 May until 30 August. This exhibition is in association with The Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) with artefacts from the Scott Polar Research Institute, Royal Museums Greenwich and Royal Engineers Museum Library and Archive. More

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