AN ELDERLY man’s joy at being reunited with his missing dog turned to shock after he was ordered to pay more than £100 to get his beloved pet back.

Robert James, 87, says he was distraught after nine-year-old collie Taff disappeared from his home on Vicarage Lane, Gresford.

The dog was later tracked down to kennels in Whitchurch, where he had been taken by local authority wardens.

Mr James’ joy at being reunited with his beloved companion was shortlived after he was told to pay £101.68 to have Taff released to him.

He said: “I feel Wrexham Council should acknowledge their responsibility and not try to pass it on.

“But having said that, I am very glad to have Taff back.”

Mr James got in touch with a number of organisations in a bid to find Taff after he went missing, including Wrexham Council.

The authority informed him that if its representatives had picked Taff up he would be at a holding kennels based in Whitchurch, Shropshire, and that he would be responsible for any charges incurred.

When Mr James queried the amount charged by the kennels he was shown a receipt that was dispensed on behalf of Wrexham Council.

In response to the complaint raised by Mr James, Andy Lewis, Wrexham’s chief housing and public protection officer, said: “Our records indicate a stray dog was collected from the Gresford area.

“The dog did not have a tag or a micro-chip ID and therefore could not be reunited with its owner.

“Wrexham Council has a duty to collect stray dogs. If the dog can’t be identified it will be taken to our appointed kennels where the owner will be charged for the dog’s release.

“The charge is made up of the reasonable costs incurred by the council in responding, collecting and transporting the dog.

“The dog warden service responds to over 600 reports of strays every year.

“Owners should ensure their pets are not allowed to stray and that they are properly identified by a collar and tag bearing contact details.”