The number of stray dogs being found on the streets of Swindon has increased dramatically. 

Figures revealed by chair of the licensing committee Dale Heenan show that since April 1 Swindon Borough Council has dealt with 140 stray dogs, with 10 needing rescue homes. 

This is an increase of 30 per cent on last year and the numbers are currently on course to exceed the total from the previous three years. 

Coun Heenan feels that a rise on dog purchases caused by the pandemic has led to this large increase in unaccompanied dogs in the town. 

He said: “Rescue spaces have always been hard to find for animals and I’ve heard quite a few places are reporting dogs having separation anxiety because owners have returned to work and cannot cope with the dog any more. 

“Dogs aren’t for pandemics or Christmas. Dogs are for life.”

Pet website Pets4Homes says 1,240 dogs were rehomed between January 1 and June 30, an increase of 89 per cent in the town from last year.