There is no legal definition of a stray dog. The RSPCA defines it as "one that is in a public place and not under the charge of a keeper". When a person is not in control, dogs can cause problems, such as road accidents, damage to property and fouling. They can be aggressive towards people and other pets. A responsible dog owner will do everything they can to keep their pet and others safe.
Who handles stray dogs?
It is the responsibility of local authorities to collect and return stray dogs. Environmental Enforcement Officers will collect stray dogs. The Police will not accept stray dogs.
What happens to stray dogs?
We try to identify the dog owner and contact them. We will make every effort to reunite micro-chipped dogs, or dogs wearing collars with tags, with their owners before we take them to the kennels.
- We take dogs to a registered kennel for safe keeping. The kennels feed and walk dogs and keep each dog separate.
- Owners have seven days to claim their dogs. Dogs that are not claimed, we give to a dog rehoming organisation.
We will never put down a dog unless a vet recommends it, because the dog:
- Is suffering
- The vet cannot operate or medicate the dog
- Is aggressive, or will be a danger to people
- Has the physical characteristics of a banned breed
Find out about dangerous dogs, which are the responsibility of the police.
Our policy is, wherever possible, to rehome or pass onto rehoming charities any unclaimed stray dogs.
Lost and found dogs
'Out of hours' telephone the emergency number: 01768 212499.
It is likely we can reunite you with your dog quicker, if your dog is micro-chipped and your contact details with the micro-chipping company are up-to-date. The quicker we reunite you with your dog, the less you will have to pay in stray dog service charges.
During office hours
Office hours are Monday to Thursday between 8.45am and 5.15pm and Friday between 8.45am and 4.45pm.
Contact Customer Services to arrange the return of your dog.
If you are the owner of the stray dog, an Environmental Enforcement Officer will discuss with you the exact cost that you will have to pay before you collect your dog. You must pay the full amount, either in cash, or with a debit or credit card. The Officer dealing with your dog, will tell you where to make the payment and will give you a receipt for the payment made.
As a guide to the fees to collect your dog please see the figures below:
|Service charge||Fees for 2022-2023|
|'Out of hours' collection fee||£71.39|
|Kennelling per night||£18.00|
|Flea and worming at the kennel||£10.00|
|Veterinary check-up and boosters*||£53.50|
*This may increase if the vet decides your dog needs other emergency medication while in our care.
Out of office hours
In the evenings, at weekends, or on bank holidays, we are unable to return dogs.
We are unable to return dogs because we contract out our 'out of hours' service. Extra fees will apply, as stated above.
If you report your dog missing to us and the 'out of hours' service has already collected your dog, the dog will remain in our kennels until the next working day, for example, Monday morning. This is because owners have to pay the fees first.
The 'out of hours' service will be able to confirm to you that we have your dog, or if it matches the description you have given. If the stray dog has a microchip they will call the person registered on the microchip to inform them that the dog is safe and in our care.
If you are the owner of the stray dog, an Environmental Enforcement Officer will discuss with you the exact cost that you will have to pay before you collect your dog. You must pay the full amount with a debit or credit card. The Officer dealing with your dog, will tell you where to make the payment and will give you a receipt for the payment made.
Please note: Arrangements to collect and return stray dogs may vary during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Environmental Enforcement Officers will discuss arrangements with dog owners/finders.