A MUM-OF-FOUR has begged Newport City council to return her dog who ended up in the local authority kennels after running away over Christmas.

Christina Cross, 29, says the council are demanding she pay a £179 fee before they let Shadow the Staffordshire bull-terrier go home.

Shadow has been in Newport City Dogs Home kennels since he slipped out of the family home on boxing day.

(Christina and her children just want Shadow to be able to come home)

He was spotted on the street by a member of the public and taken to Summerhill vets. A Facebook appeal meant Ms Cross was able to track him down later that day.

But because Shadow’s microchip information wasn’t up to date, and had the details of a previous owner, the vets couldn’t return him to Ms Cross, and sent him to Newport City Dogs Home on December 27.

Ever since, Ms Cross says the dog has been kept at the kennels, with Ms Cross unable to afford the fee needed to obtain his freedom. She also says the council have refused to accept an offer of a payment plan, and won't let the family visit or walk Shadow, as they think it would be “cruel” to make the dog think he was going home.

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Shadow has even been advertised for rehoming, and Ms Cross says a Facebook post on the dogs home’s page told readers that “the family had not come forward to collect him.” The post has since been removed by Newport City Dogs Home, but Shadow’s picture remains on their website at the time of writing.

South Wales Argus:

(A picture of Shadow on the rehoming section of Newport City Dogs Home's website)

A spokesman for Newport City Council said that they were investigating the claims, but meanwhile Ms Cross and her children are desperately wondering when or if they will see their pet again.

“The children are just devastated,” said Ms Cross, of Trent Road in the Bettws area of Newport.

(Shadow escaped on Boxing Day, 2018, and the family can't afford to get him out of Newport City Dogs Home)

“Every day they ask when is Shadow coming home, or can we collect Shadow today?

“They want £179 to release him. I just can’t afford that. I’m a single, full time mum, and I separated from my husband over the Christmas period.

“I’m desperate to get him back. With everything that’s happened recently he’s been my lifeline really. I have trouble sleeping without him around.”

Ms Cross explained that Newport council offered to reduce the fee to £140 on December 28, but the price was still too high for her to afford. She added they put the price back up 24 hours later.

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“I just don’t see why they won’t allow me to pay what I can now to get him back, which is about £90. After that I could start a payment plan for the rest,” said Ms Cross.

“It’s just not true that we haven't come forward," she said.

"I’ve been on the phone every single day trying to get him home. He’s my baby.”