HITCHING A RIDE: Staffordshire terrier Billie with her owner Dave Parkin- son, left, and Clarence Valley Council ranger Dave Dr
HITCHING A RIDE: Staffordshire terrier Billie with her owner Dave Parkin- son, left, and Clarence Valley Council ranger Dave Dr

Billie?s in the doghouse

By JULIA ILES

LIFE changed for Billie after her fourth birthday. She felt restless and decided she needed a change of scenery.

On Saturday afternoon the adventurous Staffordshire terrier left the backyard of her Evans Head home and hitched her way to Grafton.

"She's an affectionate little dog, a car must have opened its door and she jumped in," Billie's owner, Dave Parkinson, said.

She was dropped at the Grafton police station several hours later.

"We got a call at 7.30 that night to say she had been picked up and was in good condition," Mr Parkinson said.

"Luckily she was microchipped. If she wasn't the pound wouldn't have had a clue who she belonged to."

Billie was picked up at 10am the next day. Clarence Valley Council ranger Dave Drewett, who was responsible for Billie's homecoming, said the first thing he does with lost dogs is look for a microchip.

"If it's within council hours we will attempt to deliver the dog home and try to keep them out of the pound," he said.

He is concerned, however, that even when dogs have a microchip owners forget to update their addresses.

Under the NSW Companion Animals act, councils must hold a dog for seven days if it is not microchip- ped, and 14 days if it is, before they can be put down or re-housed.

"I really hate putting down dogs, as while they're in the pound we try to give them the best care we can, then we're faced with having to put them down ? it's just not a normal human process and comes at a per- sonal cost to me," Mr Drewett said.

"Get them microchipped and desexed as currently there are more dogs produced than there are homes to care for them."

As for Billie, she's grounded and her house privileges have been dra- matically reduced.



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