What to do if you find a stray dog

A stray dog is defined as being out in a public place without its owner/guardian, or in a place in which they are not permitted to be. Please use the form below if you would like to report a stray dog. You will be asked to create a My Account before you can complete the form.

Report a stray dog online

Please note that the Animal Warden Service is available to collect/remove stray dogs during office hours - Mondays to Fridays (9.00am-5.00pm). Outside of these times stray dogs may be taken by the finder to a designated acceptance point. Please contact the Council’s out of hours control room on 01793 466453 to arrange this. 

Online reports of stray dogs will be checked by the service on the next available working day.

When you report it to us, we will make arrangements to collect the dog. We will ask you to supply details of:

  • Your name and address
  • Your contact details
  • The location of the dog
  • The breed and colour of the dog
  • The owner's details (if known)

Every effort will be made to locate and notify a dog's owner but, if one cannot be not be identified, the dog will be taken to one of the kennels used by the council, where it will be kept for seven days.

If, at the end of this period the dog is not claimed, the Council can re-home the dog and uses reputable rescue centres to do so. It is very rare that we would put a dog to sleep, and then only if it was not possible to re-home it for welfare reasons as recommended by a vet or if it was considered to be dangerous following assessment.

Dogs found to be regularly straying will automatically be taken to kennels, and the owner, if known, will be informed.

When a dog is claimed, the owner is required to pay costs including a statutory fee and other associated handling and administration costs, including kennelling costs. These costs must be paid to the council before re-claiming the dog.

Reclaiming a stray dog

Owners of dogs taken in as a stray and removed to the dog pound are liable for a statutory charge of £25 plus additional costs incurred dependaent upon:

  • The number of 24-hour periods that the dog remains in the dog pound before it is re-united with its owner
  • Whether this incident of the dog being seized is the first, the second or subsequent occurrence with a period of 12 months
  • In the case of an incident that is the first occurrence, whether the dog has, or has not, been correctly tagged and micro-chipped.

A full list of charges is available to download below:

Please note that proof of ownership will be required before a dog may be released.

Last updated: 18 October 2017. Was this information helpful?

Help us improve swindon.gov.uk

Please don't include personal information such as your name and address.