Stray dogs dress for success

Hackney's stray dogs are being given a style makeover in a bid to rehome them.

Dogs have been given brightly coloured jackets to attract the attention of people who might want to provide a home for the abandoned pets and special colour-coded leads.

More than 15 local residents have volunteered to walk the dogs and their outfits have been designed both to attract attention and to provide information for other dog walkers.

The dogs' jackets have details of how to rehome the dogs and they wear colour coded collars to let people know about their temperament and condition.

The collars have seven different messages letting people know whether they are friendly, nervous around other dogs, have sight or hearing problems or that they should not be approached.

Cllr Feryal Demirci, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, Hackney Council
When we find stray dogs in Hackney we want to ensure that their welfare needs are looked after and that we can reunite them with their owners where possible. If we cannot do this then we will always try and rehome dogs. Volunteers help to keep the dogs happy and healthy by walking them and learning about how to look after animals. The new jackets and collars provide an excellent opportunity to advertise rehoming, while the dogs are being exercised, and also provide information about animals' temperament.
Cllr Feryal Demirci, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, Hackney Council

Charity 'All Dogs Matter' have leant their support to Hackney Council's innovative work to help stray dogs.

Actor Peter Egan (best known for his role in sitcom 'Ever Decreasing Circles') is chair and patron of All Dogs Matter and visited the scheme on Friday April 19.

He said: "It's really inspiring to see the work that Hackney Council has done to improve the treatment of stray dogs and also in seeking to rehome them.

"All Dogs Matter are proud to work with the council and to endorse the innovative work they are doing, which we would like to see as a model for other local authorities to follow."

Volunteers help to walk the dogs and to socialise them to improve their behaviour and receive training in animal welfare in return.

Hackney Council is responsible for collecting strays in the inner London borough and works with All Dogs Matter and Battersea Dogs and Cats Home to rehome them.