Family's anguish as pet dog is 'held to ransom'

Published: 4 Nov 2011 08:3542 comments

A DISTRAUGHT family claim their pet dog is being "held to ransom" by a private kennel after being picked up by the council warden.

The family are in the dark about their much-loved pet Lilly, who went walkabout in Crossgates when it was being looked after by relatives.

Self-employed decorator Kevin Woodward has submitted a formal complaint to Fife Council over the matter and says it is "torture" trying to explain to his kids why Lilly is still not home.

While Kevin was in New York on holiday with his wife, their four boys were staying with their grandparents along with their pet, a seven-year-old Lhasa Apso.

The dog got out of the garden in Dunfermline Road on the morning of Tuesday 11th October and by 2pm the grandfather contacted Union Farm Boarding Kennels near Cupar where she had been taken by the council.

He was told by the kennels that the dog had been classed as a stray but as a pensioner did not have the £60 fee required to pick her up that day.

When Kevin returned home from holiday he went to the kennels but did not have the cash required - which by then was up to £120 - for the dog to be released.

"The woman would not even let me see the dog so it has never been formally identified as our pet," he said.

"I run my own business and the normal thing would be to let you take the dog and send you an invoice which I would have paid the next week.

"It was just because we were straight back from holiday that I couldn't pay on the spot.

"I became a bit irate when I wasn't allowed to see the dog. The woman told me that the legal position was that after seven days the dog became hers and could be re-homed.

"What happens if someone goes on holiday and their dog is picked up? It could be sold off by the time they get home."

The situation is particularly upsetting for the family's four boys, aged 11, 10, four and two (pictured with Lilly).

Kevin added, "Lilly is a pedigree Lhasa Apso worth £500. This is our family pet and the family are all very upset at what's happened.

"We don't even know if it's still at the kennels or been re-homed.

"The kids ask me every day what's happening about Lilly and it's torture.

"I just have to tell them I'm doing everything I can. By them holding on to the dog the bill goes up every day.

"It's probably up to over £300 by now."

Local councillor Alex Rowley said, "The council need to accept a bit more responsibility for dealing with members of the public rather than what would seem to be the current practice, which is once the dog is handed over to the private kennel it is nothing to do with the council. In this case the family have made every effort to get the dog back which went missing while they were on holiday.

"Given the current economic climate I think it is wrong that the meter has been allowed to keep running, clocking up a massive bill for the family and indeed now posing a real threat to the future of the family pet."

Roddy Mann, council operations manager, said, "When dogs are picked up they are taken to one of two private kennels in Fife who are contracted to look after stray dogs and try to trace their owners or re-home them.

"This arrangement provides a public service in terms of keeping our streets safe but the organisations involved are not charities and costs need to be recovered.

"Part of being a responsible pet owner is ensuring animals are secure and, while our wardens and the kennels are happy to keep lost animals safe and try to reunite them with their owners, by law the owners are responsible for meeting the costs involved.

"When someone collects a lost dog, the kennel operators collect a £50 fee on behalf of the council, which goes towards the dog warden service, plus £10 per night for their kennelling costs.

"This is the same for any dog owner whose pet is recovered and how the companies arrange for customers to make payments is their business.

"The guardian and kennel operators spoke at an early stage and discussed the fee structure and the guardian chose to leave the dog in the kennels until the family returned, acknowledging that £120 would be required to collect the dog at this stage.

"The kennels are entitled to ask for the money that is owed to them."

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  • kaka30
    528 posts
    Nov 4, 09:09
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    Would Mr Woodward, for his kids sake, not be better off paying the money owed, getting the dog home to his kids, then taking his complaint up with Fife Council ?

    Recommend?   Yes 77     No 15

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  • SRobbo
    13 posts
    Nov 4, 12:57
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    So Mr Woodward and Councillor Rowley are suggesting that Fife Council (through our council tax) should pay to keep stray dogs? There will have been costs for keeping it and feeding it, not to mention recovering it.

    £120 for recovers, a weeks board and food seems a small price to pay! He should just pay up and be greatful that Council Wardens and the kennel looked after his pet for him and kept it safe.

    I do appreciate that he should have been able to see the dog before making payment. But perhaps his behaviour caused concern for the owners of the kennel at the time.

    Recommend?   Yes 41     No 17

  • chena123
    1 post
    Nov 4, 13:07
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    i don't think Mr Woodward is suggesting that at all ,if you cant afford to pay £120 on the spot a payment scheme should be arranged and the dog returned to the family,you see all the time on tv adopt a pet or kennels trying to re home strays here is a family wanting their pet back and cant get it and £120 is a bit extreme for one small pet to be fed for a week where do these kennels buy their dog food? i would also be very upset at not getting to see my pet to make sure he/she was ok

    Recommend?   Yes 50     No 17

  • SRobbo
    13 posts
    Nov 4, 15:45
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    Food, heating, rent, staff costs, etc, etc. £120 seems quite resonable and likely cheaper that you would get to book your pet in to kennels if you were on Holiday.

    If it were my dog, I think I would find the money. And if he has returned from a holiday to New York it wouldn't suggest that he is that hard up.

    Payment schemes, fair enough. But does the lack of a payment scheme give reason to go crying to the press? A mistake was made, we all do it, it is one of lifes many lessons. This lesson cost £120.

    Recommend?   Yes 31     No 17

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  • woodward1
    1 post
    Nov 4, 18:42
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    Just to add a little more detail than was included in the press article. According to the owner of the Union Dog Kennels, after 7 days the dog legally belonged to her, and I asked for a weeks grace in settling the invoice was refused, and was then informed the dog would be sold. Any opportunity for me to pay was declined unless it was prompt and immediate.

    I am very grateful that my dog was picked up by the council dog wardens, rather than a stranger or potentially being hit by a car, but since then I have be greeted with nothing but unreasonable demands.

    Mr Woodward

    Recommend?   Yes 42     No 14

  • ItsErnie
    464 posts
    Nov 4, 20:55
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    It doesn't sound unreasonable to me. Sounds like fairly normal kennelling charges plus a charge for finding, collecting and caring for your stray dog. The longer it stays in the kennels the more it is going to cost you. Do you think that it's down to everyone else to pay for YOUR dog?

    Stop whinging and pay for it. I'm a pensioner too and I don't see why anyone except you should be doing the paying. This isn't a news item, this is just a whinge to try to avoid a fair charge.

    Recommend?   Yes 18     No 16

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  • Carina1
    2 posts
    Nov 4, 23:09
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    I think the nasty comments that people are making are very unnecessary. Mr Woodward has said that he was willing to pay the initial payment of £120 but did not have that money on him at the time. I do not know many people that walk around carrying £120 as it is a lot of money. The bottom line is the dog got loose and accidents can happen as everyone knows and now this family are being made to suffer. There are many dogs out there that need a home, yet this family are not allowed their own pet back. It's disgraceful. If it costs £120 for 1 dog to be retrieved and looked after for a week then I think I'm in the wrong job. No wnder we are in a recession when people are asked to fork out unreasonable sums of money.

    Recommend?   Yes 30     No 15

  • Carina1
    2 posts
    Nov 4, 23:15
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    The people that have posted about the lethal injection should maybe give themselves a shot of the poison since they sound like poisoness people

    Recommend?   Yes 23     No 10

  • ShahHoorsur
    31 posts
    Nov 5, 10:14
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    Woodward, instead of running to the 'Press and trying to discredit the owner of the kennels, for your kids' sake get your wallet out and pay up.

    At least you came home from holiday knowing where your dog was, instead of it going missing and having to post "lost dog" posters about the place.

    You have no grounds for complaint, all you've done is make a trumpet of yourself.

    Cllr Rowley, were the rules on stray dogs & private kennels not revised during your time as 'leader' of Fife Council?? Hmmmmmmmmmm.

    Tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock, May 2012.........................................

    Recommend?   Yes 17     No 12

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  • Blackadder
    332 posts
    Nov 5, 18:05
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    Ah, c'mon lighten up triskell. You did walk straight into that one!

    Recommend?   Yes 16     No 1

  • triskel
    257 posts
    Nov 5, 20:04
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    What one? Lighten up? Are you trying to get pally with me?

    Recommend?   Yes 0     No 16

  • Blackadder
    332 posts
    Nov 5, 21:34
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    Wouldn't dream of it triskell. God, but you are hard work.

    Recommend?   Yes 13     No 0

  • triskel
    257 posts
    Nov 6, 04:20
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    What one?

    Recommend?   Yes 0     No 14

  • triskel
    257 posts
    Nov 6, 13:01
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    What one did I walk right into?

    Recommend?   Yes 0     No 13

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  • Blackadder
    332 posts
    Nov 6, 21:16
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    OMDays jan, triskell is going to apoplectic when he reads that.

    Recommend?   Yes 10     No 0

  • triskel
    257 posts
    Nov 7, 00:34
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    Pixels on a screen making words. It's interesting to see you perform.

    Recommend?   Yes 1     No 9

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  • getreal22
    1 post
    Nov 7, 15:43
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    Would Union Kennels have wanted to sell the dog if it had been a much loved mongrel instead of a pedigree Lhasa apso? Mr. Woodward could have been politely informed that a what can you pay today and a driving licence and a couple of household bills including one council tax bill returnable upon receipt of payment, plus a signed agreement to pay rest. Poor dog, poor kids, grandparents upset. Well done Mr. Woodward for informing us through the press that this behaviour goes on. Would never use Union Kennels. Thanks for the information. Disgraceful behaviour from kennel owner. Does he look after sharks???!!??

    Recommend?   Yes 30     No 10

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  • NotHappyJan
    192 posts
    Nov 8, 03:22
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    Over moderation makes life boring, however I do not think my comments regarding a certain individual were over the top given what he has been posting. Ah well its only pixels on a screen and for those of a sensitive nature my heart goes out to you.

    Recommend?   Yes 0     No 2

  • brick
    35 posts
    Nov 8, 11:11
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    If you cannot accept that children are being recruited into the armed forces to die for a lie, if you cannot accept that money is an illusion that enslaves people, if you cannot accept that the petro-chemical industry and the oil comapanies are destroying life on earth, I wonder how you justify these things and how you are able to condone mass-murder and exploitation in your name. Calling people names and ignoring what they say is no justification. It is living in denial. It is very selfish. It will ultimately make you unhappier than you already are.

    Recommend?   Yes 1     No 26

  • brick
    35 posts
    Nov 8, 12:28
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    I have already said that clicking the Yes/No buttons is not an argument. WHY do you disagree with what I have to say?

    Recommend?   Yes 0     No 19

  • Blackadder
    332 posts
    Nov 8, 14:02
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    Good grief triskell, I knew that you weren't all there, didn't realise that you were completely backwards tho....

    Recommend?   Yes 12     No 0

  • brick
    35 posts
    Nov 8, 14:33
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    Calling people names and ignoring what they say is no justification for war and exploitation. It is living in denial. It is very selfish. It will ultimately make you unhappier than you already are. Can you tell me why you disagree with what I have to say instead of making funny cracks.

    I have had my triskel account blocked by The Dunfermline Press. It is a very sad day for humanity when NotHappyJan's muck about Rosyth and joesbro's inanities take precedence over the serious matter of commenting on war and exploitation!

    Recommend?   Yes 0     No 17

  • supersonic
    271 posts
    Nov 8, 15:49
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    @leksirt the weight of the world on your shoulders? Lighten up and enjoy life!!!!!

    Recommend?   Yes 8     No 0

  • brick
    35 posts
    Nov 8, 16:18
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    I have a conscience supersonic. It does not interfere with my enjoyment of life it enhances my enjoyment of life. What makes you think being concerned with illegal wars and needless suffering equates with no enjoyment? Do you enjoy the fact that little children are killed in illegal wars and others are working in sweatshops to provide Europeans and Americans with luxury goods?

    The shy people that click the Yes/No options need to come out of their shells and justify themselves instead of simply insulting me. I find that cowardly! I can do without you patronising me as well.

    It is really disturbing that some people are more concerned about pedigree dogs and holidays abroad than the needless suffering of their fellow human beings.

    Recommend?   Yes 1     No 20

  • Blackadder
    332 posts
    Nov 8, 16:44
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    Nobody makes you read the Dunfermline Press triskell, I suggest you change your choice of periodical to something more suited to your, erm, requirements.

    Recommend?   Yes 13     No 0

  • bicyclebob
    159 posts
    Nov 8, 18:50
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    em jackie

    Recommend?   Yes 7     No 0

  • NotHappyJan
    192 posts
    Nov 8, 20:04
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    leskirt will be the next account blocked then. Nobody cares for the extreme left wing rubbish you espouse.

    Recommend?   Yes 7     No 0

  • Blackadder
    332 posts
    Nov 8, 20:35
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    I was thinking more of Victor, bicyclebob.

    Recommend?   Yes 7     No 0

  • brick
    35 posts
    Nov 8, 21:12
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    More funny cracks! Am I to assume you have nothing to say about children being recruited into the armed forces to die for a lie, about money being an illusion that enslaves us or about the petro-chemical industry and oil companies destroying life on earth?

    I am not like you Blackadder, I don't think if I ignore something it will go away. All you do when you see my name on a post is ignore IT and mock ME. That really says a lot about you and the culture you inhabit. You will not get far in life iby gnoring the truth and being violent, there are better ways of interacting with people and getting what you need other than being ignorant and acting violent. You did not like my criticisms of the aircraft carrier in Rosyth Dockyard, my condemnation of our country's history of exploitation or how the military works on behalf of the aristocracy and big business so you had a go at me instead of addressing the points I made. Is that what you think your master expects of you? Calling something you don't understand or have never encountered before a "rant" is not mature. You will never evolve if you don't open your mind to new concepts.

    People in this country are trained from primary school to believe that battering and bullying are the routes to success. Don't you realise that behaving like that is only going to make you enemies? When you have mechanisms of state whose sole response to any social crisis of it's own making is to increase the levels of violence you are talking about a failed state, a very dangerous one, but one that is morally bankrupt and destined for oblivion. It used to be said that war was a failure of diplomacy but it would be truer to say that war is a business run by governments in the interests of greedy corporations. As long as the people of this country endorse the wholesale slaughter of innocent foreigners in far off lands and the plundering of their natural resources the british people will remain at the knuckledragging stage of evolution! It is a stone cold certainty that if you have children, or if you already have children, if they have children, those children will be born with brain-damage or with physical deformities due to the levels of toxins in our atmosphere and the amount of depleted uranium that is floating around the planet. All those kids, not to mention the legions of obese people and folks damaged by nicotine and alcohol, will have to be looked after. How do you suggest that is done? Violently or with compassion?

    The resources we have on this planet have be used positively. We cannot batter food out of the ground, we cannot batter poison out of the air, we cannot batter water out of the tap and we cannot batter a roof over our head. We could batter slaves to do it for us but we would always be looking over our shoulder.....like a prison guard. I'm suggesting we find a more co-operative way of fulfilling our needs. Maybe relax a bit and lighten up.

    I'm writing what The Dunfermline Press dare not print. The truth! It's how I was brought up.

    Recommend?   Yes 2     No 15

  • bicyclebob
    159 posts
    Nov 8, 21:30
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    Blackadder,all in all,he is a comic,a lonely one.

    Recommend?   Yes 8     No 0

  • Blackadder
    332 posts
    Nov 8, 21:32
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    Maybe, war cry then?

    Recommend?   Yes 7     No 0

  • bicyclebob
    159 posts
    Nov 8, 21:37
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    must be in its cot, reading its war comics.

    Recommend?   Yes 7     No 0

  • brick
    35 posts
    Nov 8, 21:46
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    Calling my posts "extreme left wing rubbish" just means you don't want to listen to the truth and do not have a counter argument. It means you are giving people more clues about the state of your own head than the content of my posts. Intimidating people into silence or ignoring them doesn't make you a moral person! If anybody but a bigotted old lady or a bunch of thugs read my posts they would think I was being honest and sensible. Does the fact that you can only pour vitriol and scorn on my ideas not shame you? Do you not realise how ugly your statements about me will appear to people in general?

    Good luck in having me banned.....you CAN'T ban ideas though. You CAN'T go into people's brains and stop them thinking and feeling; much as you would like to. Instead of the hate and the bile what about some ideas of your own? Got any?

    Go and read my posts on the aircraft carrier forum again and apart from not liking them and finding some of the concepts new to you tell me exactly what it is that is wrong with them in your opinion? Remember that name calling and ignoring don't count as considered opinion, they are the mark of the brute.

    Recommend?   Yes 2     No 14

  • brick
    35 posts
    Nov 8, 21:55
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    That's right. VERY lonely. Only ME against two....or is it three of you. Not MY definition of lonely.....but obviously YOUR worst nightmare because you keep coming back to it in an attempt to make me feel bad. Are you not ashamed of yourselves? Don't you think other people will be sickened by your behaviour? Do you care?

    Recommend?   Yes 0     No 14

  • Blackadder
    332 posts
    Nov 8, 22:15
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    You should have gone with el skirt. That might hide you from the moderators better. What about Viz? You'll probably find plenty of pals in there like Millie Tant and Roger Irrelevant.

    Recommend?   Yes 10     No 0

  • brick
    35 posts
    Nov 8, 22:19
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    When you are confronted with what you consider to be a "lonely" person why is your first instinct to taunt them?

    Recommend?   Yes 1     No 14

  • bicyclebob
    159 posts
    Nov 8, 22:27
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    were you in callan

    Recommend?   Yes 10     No 0

  • brick
    35 posts
    Nov 8, 22:36
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    That is an obvious taunt! You must be trying to stress me. Have I said something to upset you?

    Recommend?   Yes 1     No 13

  • Blackadder
    332 posts
    Nov 8, 22:37
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    No, just you, Sir T Elk.

    Recommend?   Yes 8     No 0

  • bicyclebob
    159 posts
    Nov 8, 22:46
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    kliters,och aye the noo

    Recommend?   Yes 6     No 0

  • bicyclebob
    159 posts
    Nov 8, 22:51
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    maybe even kilters

    Recommend?   Yes 7     No 0

  • brick
    35 posts
    Nov 9, 00:56
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    Keep it up. You are just making yourself look ridiculous!

    Recommend?   Yes 0     No 9

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