Stray and lost dogs

A stray dog is one that is roaming free in a public space without its owner being present, whether or not it is wearing a collar and tag or has been microchipped, it is classed as a 'stray'.

Finding an owner

If you find a stray dog please try and secure it so that it can't escape again, but only if you can do so safely. If you have access to social media you may be able to locate the owner of the dog as the owner may appeal for information there, or you can share the details of the dog you have found to try and locate the owner.

If the dog has a collar and tag please contact the person named on the tag. If you are near a vets surgery or pet shop, you may be able to take the dog there to check for a microchip - if the dog has up to date microchip details the owner can be contacted. If you are unable to contact the owners you can contact us and we will arrange to collect the dog from you as soon as possible.

Council stray dog collection service

We are available to collect stray dogs between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday. If you find a dog outside these hours we can collect the dog from you the next working day, or you may be able to take it to the kennels direct during the following hours.

  • Saturday 9am-1pm and 2-4.30pm
  • Sunday and Bank Holidays: 9am- 12.30pm

The kennels are closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day  and Christmas Eve/New Year's Eve their opening hours are the same as Sunday/Bank Holiday opening hours.

How to report a dog you have found

If you find a dog please report this via our Self Service portal or call us on 01246 242424. We will need the following information:

  • your name, address and contact details
  • a full description of the dog
  • when and where you found it
  • whether the dog has a collar and tag, and any contact details that are on it

If you report a found dog during office hours we will call you back to arrange collection of the dog from you as soon as possible, usually the same day if possible.

What if I can’t contain the dog

Please still report it to us as our we are equipped to catch dogs on the loose and we will inform the police.

Aggressive dogs

If a dog is behaving aggressively and someone has been attacked or bitten, call the police non-emergency number 101. If it is an emergency situation call the police on 999; do not approach an aggressive dog.

Can I keep a stray dog?

If you find and report a stray dog you wish to keep we can complete a ‘retained by finder’ form meaning you are required to be responsible for the found dog for 28-days.
If the owner comes forward within that 28-day period you must hand the dog over to them but, if after this period, no one comes forward to collect the dog, the ownership of the dog will transfer to you.


 01246 242424
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