The number of stray dogs put down in the Midlands fell by more than a half in the past 12 months, new figures from the Dogs Trust have revealed.
Between March 2005 and April 2006, some 399 strays in the region were put to sleep compared to 907 for the previous 12 months. The number of strays picked up on Midlands streets fell from 17,154 to 14,889 in the same period, a drop of 13 per cent.
Nationwide, 101,536 stray dogs were found in the UK and 7,743 of them were put down.
The Dogs Trust, who commissioned the research, blamed owners for the problem.
Clarissa Baldwin, the charity's chief executive, said: "100,000 dogs found stray is a shocking number and should be a wake-up call to dog owners.
"For a nation of so-called animal lovers, it is unacceptable that we are prepared to treat animals as throwaway commodities, and dog owners must take responsibility for their pets."
"The message is clear. Get your dog neutered to prevent unwanted litters.
"Make sure your dog has a microchip and ID tag to ensure that if he does get lost he can more easily be reunited with you."
The RSPCA said it was "very concerned" by the statistics and agreed the problem should be tackled with neutering and microchips.
Many strays are dogs that have been lost by their owners, rather than abandoned.
A statement from the RSPCA said: "Every year distraught owners search in vain to find their lost pet.
"The chances of being reunited with an animal lacking permanent identification are slim, but if your pet is micro-chipped you could be reunited with your pet within hours.'