There was outrage yesterday (Tues) after an abandoned dog found ‘weeping’ outside a train station was returned to his owners.
The Staffie-type dog, nicknamed Gazza, was left outside Eastbourne Railway Station by a man who got in a taxi and left.
Investigators had seven days to find the owners before the rehoming process would begin and the local town council was “inundated” with offers to take him in.
But in a bizarre twist, Eastbourne Borough Council animal welfare officers traced the owners with just hours to spare.
The dog was returned to the family who put him in the hands of the man responsible for leaving him outside the East Sussex station.
According to a council spokeswoman, the family’s situation meant they had to entrust the dog’s care to someone else – who then went and dumped him alone.
A council spokeswoman said: “They had the dog put in the temporary care of somebody else and that person was the person that abandoned the dog.
“We were trying to trace the legal owners and they wanted to get the dog back and they got the dog back.
“They were very saddened about what happened and they were very keen to have it back.”
She was unable to share the personal situation that led to the family handing the dog over to the person responsible for dumping him but said that they weren’t on holiday.
The council contacted the RSPCA to see whether any animal welfare crimes were committed, by the as-yet unnamed man who dumped the poor dog.
More than 200 people contacted the council saying that they would rehome the dog after reading about his plight.
He was micro-chipped and investigators visited the person he was registered to but they said they were no longer the owners.
The council decided to give seven days for his original owner to come forward and collect him to ensure there was not an “error” such as the owner being taken ill.
A spokeswoman added: “Welfare officers felt the best place for it was back home.”
The RSPCA are aware of the situation and are not currently investigating.