Bill of £64.50 for return of dog
A CAMBORNE man was "disgusted" after being charged £64.50 by Cornwall Council for the return of his lost dog.
Michael Hichens, of North Roskear Road, returned home to find his six-year-old Jack Russell, Maisy, missing.
He searched the area and rang the police, who put him in contact with the dog warden.
The dog warden said a dog of Maisy's description had been picked up by the police in the North Roskear area – not far from home and could be collected the following day.
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Mr Hichens said: "The dog warden rang me the next morning.
"He said I could collect Maisy, but there was 'a little charge' – £64.50.
"I was disgusted. We pay all these council charges and then we have to pay extra for services like this.
"I was a bit uptight, but I agreed to meet him at the council offices at Dolcoath.
"When I got there he would not let me have her back until I had paid. If there had been a nominal charge of £10 or something like that, I wouldn't have minded, but £64.50 is just ridiculous. They only looked after her for one night."
Cornwall Council said it had a duty under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to deal with stray dogs.
It added: "A stray dog can be defined as a dog allowed to roam unaccompanied in a public area or on private land without the landowner's permission.
"If a member of the public finds a stray dog they have a duty to report it to the council and likewise the council has a duty to house the dog until it can identify the owner.
"In carrying out this legal duty the council incurs costs by collecting and kennelling the dog.
"The legislation allows the council to recover the expenses of kennelling the dog from the dog owner and also to detain the dog until the fees are paid.
"Without this provision the cost would have to be paid by the taxpayer."