Battersea Statement on Blossom, American Bulldog

16 FEBRUARY 2017

Battersea Dogs & Cats Home took in Blossom, a stray American Bulldog from the Hackney Council dog warden on 12 January, 10 days after she was picked up off the streets on 2 January.

There had already been many efforts to contact Blossom's owner by the Local Authority but very sadly her microchip details were out of date and her owner could not be reached.

Hackney Council had had Blossom in their care for ten days whilst they searched for her owner and had tried several times to call the number registered on her microchip, with no answer. They had also written to the owner named on her microchip who replied advising them they no longer owned Blossom and did not have contact details for her new owners.

Battersea scans all dogs and cats for a microchip when they arrive at its centres and on scanning Blossom we also found and confirmed that her microchip was out of date, registered with a previous owner and not to Ms Foster.

Battersea also runs a Lost Dogs & Cats Helpline that reunites around 1600 lost dogs and cats with their owners every year. Nobody contacted our Helpline to report Blossom missing.

Indeed, nobody had contacted any of our staff here at Battersea, nor the Local Authority, nor the microchip provider to report Blossom as lost in what became a total of 24 days that she was away from her owner.

In our extensive experience in such circumstances, knowing our own efforts and the repeated efforts Hackney Council had already made to find the owner, we felt there was no more that could be done by either Hackney Council  or Battersea to reunite Blossom with her owner.

Unfortunately our Veterinary team had noticed a serious problem with Blossom's hips as soon as she arrived at Battersea on 12 January, that was affecting her walking and causing lameness. Our Vets examined her extensively, which confirmed she had severe hip dysplasia. Severe arthritis in her front legs also meant she could not fully extend them, making her very uncomfortable and this was a condition that would worsen.

Battersea has a duty of care to all of our animals and finally, on 26 January, our Vets made the very difficult decision to put her to sleep. A serious decision such as this is only made after our teams have explored every alternative. At this time Blossom had been missing for almost one month (24 days) and no owner had come forward for her, to Battersea or to Hackney Council.

Battersea has rescued, reunited and rehomed the dogs and cats of London for over 157 years and we are very well known everywhere for taking in strays. Why nobody came to us in those 24 days, we will never know, but we remain steadfast that our decision to put Blossom to sleep was the right one, given her progressive and painful condition.