What to do if you find a stray dog

If a dog is out in a public place without its owner or guardian, it is defined as a stray dog.

If you wish to report a stray dog, you can use the online form below. You will be asked to create a My Account before you can complete the form.

Report a stray dog

The Animal Warden service is able to collect or remove stray dogs during office hours - Monday to Friday, 9.00am to 5.00pm. At other times stray dogs may be taken to a specific handover point. Contact the council’s out of hours control room to arrange this. Telephone 01793 466453.

If you report a stray dog online, we will check 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 the following details:

  • 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. However, if one cannot be identified or the dog is a repeat stray, the dog will be taken to one of the kennels used by the council. It will be kept for seven days.

If the dog is not claimed at the end of this period, we can re-home the dog. We will use reputable rescue centres to do so. We rarely put a dog to sleep and only consider this if the following applies:

  • It was not possible to re-home it
  • There were welfare reasons recommended by a vet
  • The dog was considered to be dangerous following assessment

Any dogs that regularly stray, will be taken to kennels. The owner, if known, will be informed.

When a dog is claimed, the owner is required to pay costs. This includes a statutory fee and other associated handling, administration and kennelling costs. These fees must be paid before the dog can be reclaimed.

To report other missing or lost pets, see the Missing and found pets webpage.

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