Stray Dog Law

Finding and losing dogs

If you find a dog without an owner, i.e. a stray dog, then it is your duty to return the dog to its owner or take it to a local authority. It is against the law to not do this. If it is you who have lost your pet dog then you should immediately inform the local authority and keep in contact with them. The council may give the dog to someone else if a week has passed, and the owner's right to claim it back will have expired.

Dog identification and tracking

In most circumstances it is required by law for your dog to wear a collar with your name and address somewhere on it. Failure to do this means that you are breaking the law as well as making it far harder for you to retrieve the dog if it goes missing. The highest penalty for not complying with this legal requirement is £2000. Getting your pet tattooed or micro chipped is often a good idea. Keeping your gates, windows and doors shut can prevent the dog from going missing also.

Local authority responsibilities

Local authorities have a duty to collect and register all dogs that are found or handed in. Complaints about stray dogs will be responded to as promptly as possible, normally within two days. The local authority employs a dog warden who keeps you informed of what he is doing while maintaining confidentiality. If the authority cannot find out or contact the owner, they will take the dog into their kennels. The dog will be kept until you can prove who you are and you have paid the necessary fees. Local authorities generally charge £25 for a seizure, £30 for transport and admin and £15 a night for the kennels.

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