Lost, found and stray dogs

Found a stray dog?

A stray dog can be defined as one that is in a public place and not under the charge of its keeper. It is easy to assume a stray dog has been abandoned, but in most cases there is a distraught owner searching for it. 

We will seize and detain any dog which is found to be alone in a public place, or another place where it is not permitted to be. If the dog is on private land, we may seize it if the landowner or occupier has asked us to.

We collect stray dogs because they can:

  • act aggressively
  • harm themselves, other animals and people
  • cause accidents and damage
  • foul pavements and public areas
  • worry livestock such as sheep and cattle
  • contribute to outbreaks of serious canine diseases, such as parvovirus or distemper
  • result in unwanted pregnancies when the stray is a bitch.

Always be careful approaching what you think is a stray dog, as it is not always possible to tell if it will be aggressive.

If you decide to take personal responsibility for a stray, you are legally obliged to do one of the following:

  • Return it to its owner, if the owner can be identified from ID tags or other means.
  • Take/report the dog to us (or the local council in the areas the dog was found).

In recent years, we have found that lots of people use Facebook and other social media to alert the community they have found a dog, and this often results in a swift return to the owner.

Report a found/stray dog

We do not offer a 24 hour lost dog response service via our online form. If you are calling outside of working hours (9am - 5pm, Monday - Friday), please call our out of hours response line on 01527 871565.