Cardiff Council Statement regarding Ernie the Spaniel
A council spokesperson said:  “To comply with the Environmental Protection Act 1990, Cardiff Council has a procedure in place to handle situations when a stray dog is found in Cardiff, and all dogs should be brought to Cardiff Dog’s Home or reported to the Animal Wardens for them to be collected, for a number of reasons.

“Firstly, we need to check to see if the dog is chipped so we can try and find the rightful owner and give the opportunity for the rightful owner to come forward and collect their animal.  Secondly, we need to check the dog’s welfare and possibly gather necessary evidence for any proceedings that could be brought by the Council.

“If no owner comes forward or can be identified, all efforts to rehome the dog will be made and  checks will also be made to see whether the person adopting the dog has a suitable property and circumstances to look after the dog correctly.

“What has happened in this instance, is that a Newport resident has found a dog straying in Cardiff and has chosen to take the dog home to their property in Newport. However the person only notified Cardiff Dog’s Home that they had the dog some 72 hours after finding it and in this period set up a Just Giving page to raise funds to look after the animal.

“We strongly advise that the person brings the dog to Cardiff Dog’s Home, so that necessary checks can be made to see if the rightful owner can be identified. Currently these investigations are being impeded by the dog not being in our possession.  If the owner cannot be identified, and the dog does need to be re-homed, the person that has found the dog straying will have the opportunity to adopt the animal, if they are deemed suitable to do so, and have indicated to the Council that they wish to do so.”

“Further it is possible the actions undertaken by the individual in taking the dog, may have compromised any potential welfare investigations that could be pursued by Council Officers or the RSPCA.

“Officers are working with the person who found the dog to ensure that they fully comply with their legal duty, as any person who finds a stray can only keep a dog upon receipt of confirmation from an authorised officer from the Council that they can do so. Such confirmation has not been given in this case.   

“As we are dealing directly with the person who found this dog, Cardiff Dogs Home will not be responding to any further enquires relating to this dog.”