It is illegal to allow your dog to stray. The Dog Warden can seize any dog they believe to be straying. This means any dog which is off its owner's property and outside of its owner's control.
If you find a dog, you must return it to its owner or inform the police or council. Failure to do so is a criminal offence. Having provided your details to the police or council, you may choose to keep the dog. If you choose to keep the dog you must, by law:
- Keep the dog personally for a minimum of one month;
- Give up custody of the dog at any time if its rightful owner requests its return.
If the dog is passed over to our Dog Warden, they will make every effort to reunite the dog with its owner at that time, except during out of office hours when the dog will be taken straight to kennels unless a tag with clear contact details is present. If the Dog Warden is able to return the dog to the owner without it having to be taken to kennels, a statutory fine of £25 will be charged to the owner for allowing it to stray. If unable to do so, the Dog Warden will take the dog to the kennels. This is considered by the Dog Warden Service as the safest way to ensure it does not cause harm or injury to itself or to a person. Re-homing can take place after seven days of being kept in kennels. We are glad to say that most stray dogs that remain unclaimed are successfully re-homed. However if a stray dog is very ill or extremely aggressive, it may have to be destroyed.
If a dog has been seized by the council or the police by any means and subsequently re-homed, legal title to the dog will rest with the new owner of the dog.
If a dog is reclaimed by its owner, they will be responsible for any costs involved. These include:
- Kennelling fees, which are calculated on a daily basis
- A government fine of £25
- An additional charge of £70 (rising to £73 on 1/4/2021) if the dog had been taken to the kennels either by the Dog Warden or the finder
- Any veterinary costs
Report a stray dog with the online form or telephone (01732) 876181.