I am concerned for the welfare of a dog. What should I do?
If you have any concerns about the welfare of any animal, call the RSPCA on 0300 123 4999 or report cruelty online to the RSPCA. You can make anonymous reports.
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
Low cost neutering to some dog owners is being offered by the Dog's Trust. To see if you are entitled to this visit their web page to find out more. Alternatively, contact your local veterinary practice for a discussion about the benefits of neutering your dog.
Your duty as an 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
You can find plenty of useful information and guides on how to meet these five needs on the RSPCA welfare pages.
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 there is a problem. If this doesn't resolve the problem you can contact the Environmental Protection team to discuss the issue.
Does my dog need identification?
Yes. Your dog must wear a collar with a tag. It must show the owner's address and telephone number by law. This is unless your dog is 'working' on a farm, for example. New legislation required all dogs to be microchipped by 6 April 2016 in England, including working dogs.
If your dog wears a collar and ID tag, a member of public who has found your dog can contact you.
Who do I call if I have lost my dog?
Report your dog missing by telephoning us on 01768 817817 as soon as possible. We keep a register of all lost and found dogs within Eden district. It is also worth informing the local vets. If you live close to the border of Eden district you should also call neighbouring District/Borough Councils. 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. 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 the dog to be collected by a Community Warden, telephone 01768 817817. We will take it to licensed kennels until the owner comes forward. We employ a contractor out of office hours to also collect stray dogs. Telephone 01768 817817.
Can I keep the stray dog I found?
By law all stray dogs are the responsibility of the local authority. You must contact the Community Warden on 01768 817817 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 Community Warden. 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. A Community Warden can visit and scan the dog.
The dog may have an illness or infection, which could make your existing pets ill, or infest your home. It could be expensive to treat. It may also be injured and need costly treatment. 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 Community Warden, it enables the responsibilities of dog ownership to be discussed with them and advice given.
Handing the dog over to the Community Warden 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 Community Warden. 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.
I would like to give an unwanted dog a home. Where do I go?
Please contact a local dog rescue centre, or 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.