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Finding a Stray Dog

What you should do if you find a stray dog.

Finding stray dogs

If you find a stray dog you are legally required to report it to the dog warden in the area in which the dog was found.

Dogs must have a collar and tag on whilst in a public place according to the Control of Dogs Order 1992. The maximum fine for failure to do this is £5000. Responsible dog owners may also have their dog identity micro chipped.

Working dogs are exempt from the legislation but only whilst they are working. (Farmers do not usually take kindly to their sheepdog being picked up as a stray)!

A stray is a dog that is outside of its owner's property or other area where it is permitted to be, without supervision. If you find a dog that you think is a stray, please do the following

Can you return the dog to its owner by:

  • Referring to the information on the collar
  • Local neighbour enquiries
  • Taking it to a vet to scan for an identity microchip

If you cannot contact the owner:

Please report it to us.

  • You can report the following information:
  • Breed/sex of dog
  • Colour & distinguishing features
  • Is it friendly and approachable?
  • Where & when was it found?
  • Does the dog have any identification?
  • What actions have you taken?

We then may be able to collect the dog. 

Further information

DO NOT keep, sell, give away or abandon any dog you find. This is against the law. The council must keep the dog for 7 clear days. If the owner does not come forward in that time, the dog will be re-homed, if it is possible to do so.

There is a statutory charge and kennel fees to be paid prior to reclaiming the dog. These costs may reflect an out-of-hours collection fee too.

If you regularly see a loose dog in the neighbourhood, please report with as much detail as possible to the dog warden.