Paper Round

Proof that British society is going to the dogs is in ample supply this week.

Pooch periodical K9 Magazine reports that pet charity PDSA is complaining about an alarming decline in 'petiquette' among domestic animals. One in eight pet owners surveyed by the charity had embarrassing shaggy dog stories to share, including inopportune mountings, accidents with "natural bodily functions" and breaking wind "loudly or melodiously" in public.

Elaine Pendlebury, a senior veterinary surgeon at PDSA, was quoted: "If owners are worried about their pets' bad manners, they should seek veterinary advice to find out the true cause of their pets' paw etiquette." Honk, honk!

Problem ponies in Southampton have pushed local councillors to the ends of their tethers. According to, a growing number of equine delinquents have been causing damage and kicking and biting passers-by. The council has decided the bad-tempered horses will now be required to cool off in a local pound if their owners don't sign promises to keep them under control.

Unclaimed animals will be sold after seven days, but local animal charities fear an influx of "hairy natives" with no market value. They are also concerned that angry owners might turn up at charity premises intent on recovering their property.

Unruly Southamptonians have also been besieging a local Barnardo's shop with water bombs. The Southern Daily Echo reports that young vandals have been pelting elderly volunteers with the soggy projectiles every time they set foot outside the shop.

Margaret Booth, a 74-year-old shop volunteer, said: "It's worrying having balloons full of water come flying at you when you're not expecting it. They could have knocked off my glasses. Anything could have happened."

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