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Home Archive Forums General Category General Discussion WHAT TO DO IF YOU FIND OR LOSE A DOG

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    X posted with permission by courtesy of Shirley Budgen.


    1. Contact the Dog Warden. Since April 2008, the police are no longer responsible for stray dogs.

    If you wish to keep it

    If you wish to keep a stray dog you are LEGALLY REQUIRED TO NOTIFY THE DOG WARDEN. You will be asked to sign a form agreeing to keep the dog for a minimum of 1 month unless claimed by the original owner.

    If, within this time you decide you no longer are able to keep the dog, it must be handed over to the dog warden. You must NOT give the dog to family or friends because in the case of a dog being retained by the finder, the dog legally remains ‘found property’ and the original owner can reclaim it at any time. Therefore, the dog never truly becomes the property of the finder.

    In all cases you will be asked to give relevant details such as where and when the dog was found, its size, colour, breed etc.

    By law, a dog must have a collar with a tag with the owners details, address and/or phone number on it. Alas not everyone knows this is compulsory by law and often only have their dogs microchipped which can only be read with an appropriate scanner. Most vets and rescue centres have scanners and would be able to check if the dog is microchipped or not. Some dogs are tattooed. Usually in their ear, but if the dog has come from abroad, the tattoo could be in the groin area.


    The first thing to do is to contact your local dog warden. Also contact all local kennels, (boarding and rescue), local vets etc. Put up posters, if possible with a photo of your dog, at bus stops, in vet surgeries, post office, local shops, on telegraph poles/posts, ask your postman to keep a look out.
    If you are on the Internet, publicise it widely on lost/found websites such as

    Stray Dogs – FAQ’s

    I’ve found a stray dog and taken it home – what should I do now ?

    If the dog is wearing a collar and tag giving details of the owner’s name and address, if possible, you should return it to that person otherwise you can Contact the dog warden (ask your local council for the number)

    The dog warden will usually arrange to collect the stray dog at a time which is convenient to you. Where it is reported between 9am and 4.30pm the dog warden will, wherever possible, collect it within 30 minutes. If reported between 4.30pm and 5pm the dog will be collected the following working day. After 5pm you can leave a message on an answerphone giving your contact details and the Dog Warden will contact you early the next working day to arrange a convenient time for collection.

    In all cases you will be asked to give relevant details such as where and when the dog was found, its size, colour, breed etc.

    Any information you give will be treated in the strictest confidence.

    I’ve seen a stray dog – what should I do ?

    Contact the dog warden

    The more detail you can provide when reporting this will help the dog warden to successfully return the dog to its owner and hopefully prevent a reccurance. You will be asked for details such as : Where and when the dog was seen roaming? Is it still in the same location or what direction is it heading in? What colour, size and breed is it? Do you know who owns it or where it lives?

    If the dog is still straying the dog warden will attend between 9am and 5pm, wherever possible within 30 minutes of it being reported, to attempt to seize the dog.

    I have lost my dog – what should I do ?

    You should contact the dog warden as soon as possible to report that your dog is missing. You will need to give as many details as possible such as : Where and when the dog was last seen? What colour, size and breed is it? Is it tagged or microchipped?

    Dogs have been known to stray a considerable distance from home so we advise that you make enquiries in the surrounding area’s or Boroughs.

    If your dog has been seized by the Council’s dog warden it will have been taken immediately to the local dog pound from where you will need to collect it within 7 days from the date it was seized by the dog warden. Before your dog leaves the kennels, you will be required to pay any kennelling and/or veterinary charges that have been incurred.

    What happens if I do not collect my dog within 7 days ?

    Seized dogs are taken to the kennels immediately and are kept for 7 days, after which time the former owner no longer has any ownership rights to the dog and attempts will be made to re-home stray dogs wherever possible, otherwise it may be destroyed.

    My dog got out of the house by accident – he wasn’t straying !

    Any dog found wandering unaccompanied in a public place is classed as a stray and will be dealt with by the dog wardens.

    If your dog found to be straying on a public highway, you could be prosecuted and fined under the Road and Traffic Act 1988.

    He’ll come home – he always does !

    All dog owners have a legal responsibility for their dogs and their behaviour. Whilst your dog is straying you are unable to fulfil these responsibilities and have no control over your dog.

    Dangerous dogs

    If a dog is dangerously out of control in a public place – then the owner or the person in charge of the dog is guilty of an offence, or, if the dog while so out of control injures any person, it would then be considered an aggravated offence under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.

    Who do I report a dangerous dog to ?

    All dogs which are dangerously out of control, or have attacked people or animals may be classified as a dangerous dog and must be reported to the Police.

    If it is a dog which is straying in a public place or on a highway that is out of control, and is not accompanied by a responsible person, it should then be reported to the Council’s dog warden who will attend within 30 minutes wherever possible.

    If I allow my dog to foul and do not clean it up, what will happen ?

    Under the order if a dog fouls on any land which has been designated as a no fouling area the person in charge of the dog must immediately clean up the waste.

    If that person fails to clean up they have committed an offence and can be prosecuted.

    It is not a reasonable excuse to say that you were unaware that your dog had fouled (whether by reason of not being in the vicinity or otherwise), or you do not have a suitable means of removing the waste.

    However under the law no offence is committed if;

    * The owner or person on whose land the dog fouling has taken place has given consent for the dog waste to be left on the ground.
    * The person in charge of the dog is registered blind.

    What can I do to be a responsible dog owner?

    When taking your dog out :-

    * Always carry with you something with which you can pick up your dog’s waste and clean up as soon as your dog has fouled.
    * Where bins are available place the dog waste in the bins provided for that purpose or take it home with you.

    Responsible dog ownership

    Dogs are a great source of fun, enjoyment and companionship to many people of all ages. However there are responsibilities that come with owning a dog, which, if ignored can cause public health problems and also lead to road traffic accidents. If these obligations and responsibilities are ignored the Council may prosecute for which the maximum penalty is a fine of £5000.

    There are three main areas of responsibility.


    As a dog owner you are by law (Control of Dogs Order 1992) obliged to identify your dog by ensuring it wears a collar and tag at all times when on a highway or in a public place. This tag must carry details of your name and address, microchipping is not a substitute for a dog tag, however, if your dog strays and loses its collar it is a good idea to have a microchip as backup. Microchipping your pet is a permanent way of identifying it. Most vets offer a microchipping service although costs may vary.


    Training your dog is essential to ensure the safety of yourself, your pet and the community.

    It is important also that owners are trained or have knowledge of certain skills and techniques to enable dogs to be controlled under any circumstances.

    Cleaning up after your dog

    Cleaning up after your dog is one of the most important areas of responsibility. You can face considerable fines if you don’t.

    There is a fully comprehensive downloadable document on the following website, courtesy of Shirley Budgen.

    http://bordercollie sneedinghomes. what-to-do- if-you-lose- or-find-a- dog.html


    good post maybe one for the stickies??  🙂

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