If you are concerned for the welfare of a dog
Read the reporting cruelty checklist on the RSPCA website if you have any concerns about the welfare of any animal.
Neutering your dog
Neutering your dog is a sensible option and can:
- stop unwanted puppies
- reduce the chance of some health problems later in life
- calm certain behaviour.
Find out more about neutering on the Dog's Trust website. The Dog's Trust advise if your dog is neutered, engrave "I am neutered" on their ID tag as it may act as a deterrent against dog theft.
Alternatively, contact your local veterinary practice for a discussion about the benefits of neutering your dog.
Your duty as a dog owner
Any responsible dog owner will want to prevent their dog from any type of suffering or cruelty. But did you know what the law says about this? Section 9 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 places responsibility on owners to take all reasonable steps to ensure their dog is cared for properly, and meet the following five welfare needs:
- need for a suitable environment
- need for a suitable diet
- need to be able to exhibit normal behaviour patterns
- need to be housed with, or apart, from other animals
- need to be protected from pain, suffering, injury or disease.
Read the advice and welfare on the RSPCA website for useful information and guides on how to meet these five needs.
What should I do if my neighbours' dog barks excessively?
In the first instance you should approach your neighbour to discuss the situation. Your neighbour may not even be aware that their dog is barking or you can hear it. If this doesn't resolve the problem you can contact the Environmental Protection team to discuss the issue by telephoning 0300 373 3300.
Does my dog need identification?
Yes, your dog must wear a collar with an identification tag by law. It must show the owner's address and telephone number. If your dog wears a collar and ID tag, a member of public who has found your dog can contact you directly and quickly. This is unless your dog is 'working' on a farm, for example. From 6 April 2016 in England all dogs, including working dogs, must be microchipped.
Who do I call if I have lost my dog?
Report your dog missing as soon as possible. We keep a register of all lost and found dogs within the Eden area. It is also worth informing the local vets. If you live close to the border of Westmorland and Furness Council you should also contact Cumberland Council.
You may also wish to contact the microchip company and tell them. The details should be on the paperwork you were given from the microchipper.
Social media is a useful tool but don't forget to report it to us first, as we may already have your dog.
What do I do if I have found a stray dog?
If possible make sure that the dog is secure. To arrange for an Environmental Enforcement Officer to collect the dog telephone 0300 373 3300. We will take it to licensed kennels until the owner comes forward.
To report a stray dog out of office hours telephone 0300 373 3300 and follow the prompts to speak to the officer on duty. Our contractor will collect the stray dogs.
Can I keep the stray dog I found?
By law all stray dogs are the responsibility of the local authority. You must contact the Environmental Enforcement Officer on 0300 373 3300 if you find a stray dog. They will collect the dog and take it to licensed boarding kennels. It will remain there until claimed, for up to 7 days. If the dog is not claimed, it will be rehomed to a dog rehoming charity.
Why is it not advisable to look after a stray dog in my own home?
Sometimes people keep a stray dog in their home without informing the Council. By doing this you could be accused of theft.
The description of the dog you leave with us may not be very accurate. The owner, who is looking for that dog, may not realise that the dog is theirs. This delays the dog and owner being reunited. This can cause great upset and distress to both the owner and their dog.
The dog may be microchipped. An Environmental Enforcement Officer can visit, scan the dog and access the microchip databases.
The dog may have an injury, illness or infection, which could make your existing pets ill, or infest your home. It could be expensive to treat. It may not be up-to-date with vaccinations. It may be susceptible to infection or illness as a result.
It is very easy to become emotionally attached to the dog, making handing it back to the owner very traumatic.
If the owner reclaims the dog through the Council, it enables the responsibilities of dog ownership to be discussed with them and advice given. This is particularly useful when some owners repeatedly lose their dog or are not making sure their dog is safe.
Handing the dog over to the Council gives it the best chance of being reunited with its owner through our tried and tested system.
If you do keep the dog in your home, you must inform the Environmental Enforcement Officers immediately. You are obliged by law to keep the dog for a period of 28 days. After this period, you can keep the dog until a person with proof of ownership claims it. In other words, you can never be the legal owner of the dog. The original owner may demand the dog back at any time, no matter how long you have kept it or how much money you have spent.
To give a rescue dog a home
Please contact rescue societies such as:
How do I report a dangerous dog?
Dangerous dogs are usually the responsibility of the Police. If you think a dog is dangerous, contact the Police on the non-emergency number 101 in the first instance.