Animals and pests

Reporting a stray/found dog

Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, we are legally responsible for taking in stray dogs during normal office hours or the Animal Warden will collect the dog between the hours of 8.30am and 4.30pm Monday to Thursday and 8.30am to 4pm on Friday. 

If you find a dog outside of these hours you will need to telephone us on 01522 534747. You will either have to retain the dog until the following working day, or be prepared to transport the dog to an acceptance point. The hours of this service are from 5pm to 10pm Monday to Friday, 9am to 10pm on a Saturday and 9am to 5pm on a Sunday.

If you decide to take personal responsibility for a stray dog you must, by law, do one of the following:

  1. Return the dog to its owner – if the owner can be identified
  2. Await collection of the dog by the Animal Warden   
  3. Retain the dog – but you will need to contact the Animal Warden who will arrange for you to sign an agreement to keep the dog for one month (if unclaimed by the owner.)

You could be liable to a fine if you find a stray dog and keep it without the written permission of the local authority.

Dogs will be kept for a minimum of seven days, if not claimed by their owner.

What is considered to be a stray dog

A stray dog can be defined as one that is in a public place, not under the charge of its keeper. It is also any dog that is on land on which it has no right or permission to be. Even if you know where the dog lives, if the owner is not with the dog, then it is a stray. 

Costs for reclaiming your dog

You will need to pay a fine and expenses if you are collecting/reclaiming your dog after it has strayed. This is to cover the authority's expenses incurred by detaining your dog.

The fine amount is currently £25.