Stray dogs


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. 

If you own a dog, please make sure you don’t leave it alone when out in public. Please also make sure you have your dog microchipped, and that your dog wears a collar and identity tag at all times.

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.

Where the owner of a stray dog is known, we will give notice that the dog has been seized and may be disposed of within seven days, if not claimed. The owner only has a right to the return of dog if they pay all expenses incurred by reason of its detention, plus a further fee (currently £25).

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.