A TEENAGER was overjoyed when the council found her lost dog – but she was left appalled by what happened next.
Darcy Jones' Yorkshire Terrier Mooch vanished for one day last month leaving her heartbroken.
Luckily, the local council dog wardens found the 10-year-old pup but then held him "hostage", according to Darcy.
The 17-year-old was told she would have to pay to get her dog back since he wasn't microchipped and had to be kept in a kennel.
The fee to have Mooch returned home was £147.50 – something Darcy and her family simply couldn't afford.
Darcy from Stockport, Greater Manchester, said: "I didn't sleep for days, it's been so traumatic.
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“Mooch has been with me for 10 years since he was a puppy and he’s my best friend."
It took Darcy 12 days to find the money to get her furry friend back by which point the dog warden kennel fees had gone up to £207.50.
She said the treatment they have had has been "appalling" as the wardens demanded the money despite them not having it.
“I’m just so pleased to have him back, but the way we have been treated is appalling," the teen added.
“The wardens insisted on this money and I just didn’t have it, but they wouldn’t listen.
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“It was like he was held hostage
“I asked if they could wait until pay day. They said ‘No’.”
She eventually got Mooch back on Tuesday last week in an emotional reunion after fearing he would be rehomed.
Even though Mooch wasn't chipped, Darcy claims she proved the dog was hers by his collar and tag – which the council acknowledged and knew she was the owner.
Darcy's aunt Hayley McCabe, said: “I never knew and it seems like a big con to me, just another way to make money.
“And in these tough times, who can afford to pay out over £200 just to get your own dog back?
“The whole thing is disgusting and the public needs to be made aware this sort of thing is going on.”
'IT WAS LIKE HE WAS HELD HOSTAGE'
Stockport Council charges a £78 fee for returning a found dog which rises to £147.50 after one day in kennels. and goes up £10 per day.
Mark Glynn, Director of Place Management at Stockport Council, said: “We can confirm that Mooch has now been returned to the owner.
“On September 23, Animal Wardens were contacted by a concerned resident who then picked up Mooch without an electronic chip or collar.
“They acted on behalf of the council and Mooch was taken to the kennels.
“We encourage all dog owners to microchip their dogs for free via the Dogs Trust so that we can return dogs to their owners immediately and without the cost of kennels.
“The council is, of course, sympathetic to dog owners.
“However, our duty of care is always to the animal, and the measures in place are to protect the animal's welfare, as is our legal duty.
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