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Number of stray dogs soars in the West Country

The number of stray dogs has soared in the West Country Credit: PA

The number of stray dogs found in the region has gone up nearly 40% in the past year.

Figures from the charity the Dogs Trust show that 3,900 strays were taken in by local authorities in the west country in the year to September.

Cornwall Council says since April its dog team has taken in more than 650.

Warnings for dog owners in South Devon

Dog owners in South Hams are being warned to keep their pets away from a white substance that's washed up along the Salcombe Estuary.

The Palm Oil like material is similar to the substance found on Cornish beaches in October. The council say teams will be out to clear the North and South Sands beaches this morning.

South Hams council says teams will clean up North and South Sands beaches today.

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Devon and Cornwall police's new puppies

Devon & Cornwall police's new puppies Credit: Devon & Cornwall Police

Devon and Cornwall police's dog section have bred their own pups for the first time.

German Shepherd Ruby gave birth to the litter earlier this week and the results are now being shown on the internet. It's hoped that when the dogs are old enough they'll be trained as police dogs.

After an initial period with their mother, the puppies will go to family homes for twelve to eighteen months before being assessed for training. If successful, they'll then embark on an intensive 13-week course.

You can watch them live here

Dog days at the Eden Project

The Eden Project is welcoming dogs for the first time Credit: Eden Project

Restrictions on people taking their dogs to the Eden Project have been lifted this weekend for the first time. Until now, only registered assistance pets have been permitted. But animals won't be allowed in any building apart from through the Visitor Centre.

Eden's Operations Director Ian Williams said: "Lots of visitors have asked us if we would consider letting dogs in. We will see how Dog Weekend at Eden goes and how well it is received by dog owners and general visitors and will then make a call on whether we have more dog days in future."

Police looking for offspring of seized dogs

'Motor' is one of the three dogs they seized from the couple Credit: Devon & Cornwall Police

Devon and Cornwall Police are trying to track down the offspring of three pitbull-type dogs they seized from a couple in Barnstaple.

It's thought there could be more than a hundred of them across the country.

Steven and Tracey Tewkesbury are awaiting sentencing for possessing and offering to supply dangerous dogs.

Dog ban on St Ives' beaches begins today

Dogs will no longer be allowed on St Ives beaches as of today Credit: ITV Westcountry

A controversial order banning dogs from St Ives' beaches comes into affect today.

The 24 hour ban applies to Porthgwidden,Porthmeor and Porthminsterwhile an 8am to 7pm ban also comes into force on Harbour beach.

St Ives Dog Owners Group who oppose the ban are planning a demo this weekend. There will be similar dog bans coming into place on other beaches in the region, including Sidmouth and Instow.

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Dogs help kids to read

Parents and teachers say they've been amazed at how children who needed some extra help at school with things like reading and confidence have improved thanks to working with a dog.

The North Devon based charity Dogs Helping Kids is now training owners and their animals across our region as by word of mouth demand for their volunteer service has exploded.

Our correspondent Seth Conway reports:

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