AN ANIMAL lover is urging people to take care of their pets after she took in a stray dog which was left wandering the streets.
Christine Fothergill was chatting with a friend at her home in Cornwall Street, Hartlepool, when they noticed a dog running around in the street.
The 53-year-old opened her door and the friendly pooch came bounding straight in.
Christine put her canine friend on Facebook, and also got her daughter to walk it around nearby streets, in a bid to trace the rightful owner.
But her efforts were in vain so she took the dog to the vets, who sourced information from a chip under the animal’s skin and tried ringing the owners.
That also proved unsuccessful so the animal, named Tilly, was given to the dog warden, and then passed to a charity called Stray Aid, based in Durham.
It’s just terrible when people get pets and then decide they don’t want them anymore and just leave them.Animal lover Christine Fothergill
Christine, who also has three cats, said she had become attached to the dog so kept ringing to see if anyone had claimed her.
The charity said that if after 10 days no-one had claimed her, then Christine could have first refusal on adopting the Pomeranian cross Jack Russel dog for £150.
Christine decided to give the dog a home and paid the cash after the 11-month-old dog remained unclaimed.
Today, Christine urged others to take more responsibility for their pets, so that other dogs do not end up with a similar fate.
The mum-of-four said: “I just got so attached to her that I borrowed the money to go and get her from Stray Aid.
“It’s just terrible when people get pets and then decide they don’t want them anymore and just leave them.
“It shouldn’t be left up to the likes of me to take them in when someone decides they can’t be bothered with them any more.
“But I am so glad I’ve got her.
“She’s a lovely dog and she’s made such a big difference to my life.”