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Coventry Animal Centre hosted local politician

Geoffrey Robinson, MP for Coventry North West, paid a visit to the RSPCA’s Coventry Animal Centre today (27 January) as part of his push to introduce new dog legislation.

The Labour MP raised the issue of improving dog legislation in Parliament last year and has been supporting calls to strengthen the laws on dog ownership for some time.

The aim of the visit was for Mr Robinson to see the impact of irresponsible dog ownership on the animal centre. He heard that, in 2011, 117 of the 343 dogs taken in by Coventry Animal Centre were Staffordshire bull terriers or Staffy crosses, just the sort of dogs which are often taken on as status symbols.

Mr Robinson said: “We are urging the government to introduce much-needed new legislation on the issue of irresponsible owners. This would mean the onus would be firmly put upon the owners to make sure their dogs were socialised, trained and looked after properly and to make them more accountable for the actions of their pets.

“I would like to see dog legislation introduced to include compulsory microchipping so that dogs can be traced back to their owners more easily which would help the RSPCA and other agencies who have to deal with the problem of mistreated animals and those which have been encouraged to be aggressive.”

Staffordshire bull terrier Phantom (pictured right) is one of the dogs at Coventry looking for a home. He was no longer wanted by his owner, who then went on to dump Phantom in a field near the centre after being advised that a space would be found for him, but one was not available straight away.

Glenn Mayoll, manager of RSPCA Coventry Animal Centre, said: “We were glad to have the opportunity to explain to Mr Robinson about some of the issues we come across as a result of the irresponsible dog owners out there.

“We often take in dogs which may have been taken on as a sort of status symbol and which have then been neglected or abused. Dogs like Phantom shouldn’t just be taken on then dumped unceremoniously, they aren’t disposable property and deserve owners who can love and care for them.

“If every owner was made accountable for looking after their pet properly we hope we would see far fewer of these dogs through our doors.”

To find out more about Coventry Animal Centre or to find out about rehoming Phantom or another animal from the centre, please visit or call 02476 336616.