Most stray dogs are lost pets that need re-uniting with their owners. However, there are some owners who allow their dogs to stray again and again. Stray dogs can cause road accidents, nuisance from fouling and attacks on other dogs and people.

If you find a stray dog

The owner is probably looking for the dog and may have reported it missing or posted on local social media. All dogs out in public should be wearing a collar with the owner's details on. If you are able to, check the collar of the dog you have found for the owner's details, and contact the owner direct. This is normally the quickest way to re-unite them.

The council has a reception point for stray dogs. If you find a dog, and cannot get hold of the owner, you have a legal obligation to take the dog to the council's reception point. The reception point is open between 9am and 4.30pm, 7 days a week. [Closed between 10.30am and 12.30pm on Fridays and between 1pm and 2pm at weekends. Please ring 023 9268 8181 to make an appointment.

If you are unable to take a dog to the council's reception point during office hours (8am to 5pm Monday to Friday) our officers may be able to collect it. 

Please ring the council's switchboard number to report finding a stray - 01243 785166.

The reception point is not open to the public to receive or collect strays between 4.30pm and 9am.

If you have lost a dog

  • During office hours, please ring our main switchboard to, 01243 785166 to report it.
  • Outside of normal office hours (between 8am and 9pm, you can ring the Council's reception point to report it.
  • Use local Social Media to see if anyone has found your dog.

Collecting dogs

If you are coming to collect a dog from the council's reception point, please contact the kennel first on 023 9268 8181. They are open between 9am and 4.30pm, 7 days a week. [Closed between 10.30am and 12.30pm on Fridays and between 1pm and 2pm at weekends] You will need to pay the kennelling fees before your dog is released to you.

Charges:

  • Seizure fee £89.25
  • Daily Kennelling Charge £11.50 per day

We will offer to microchip your dog when you come to collect it if it does not already have one. There is a charge for this service, but considerably less than the charges for seizing and looking after your dog. We strongly encourage you to take up the offer since it is a legal requirement.

The law and stray dogs

Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, all local councils must provide a stray dog service. A stray dog is any dog in a public place on its own. By law a dog should wear an identification collar or tag, and have an up-to-date, registered microchip so that the owner can be found quickly. Any dog found straying may be picked up by the council.

If a member of public finds a stray, they have a duty to take it to the council's stray dog reception point. Once registered as a stray dog, it will be taken to the kennels until claimed. A dog owner has up to seven days to claim back their pet. The owner will have to pay a fee as well as kennelling charges. The total charges have to be paid in full before a dog can be returned.

Any dog that is not claimed within seven days will be re-homed or passed on to an appropriate rescue organisation. We make every effort to find new homes for unclaimed strays regardless of age. They would only be put down on our vet's advice. We maintain registers for both lost and found dogs, which help to re-unite dogs and owners.