Pests, animal nuisance and welfare

Lost and stray dogs

What to do when you find a lost dog, if you've lost your dog and how we can help.

Reporting a stray or lost dog 

A finder of a stray dog is obliged to return the dog to its owner or contact the local authority; failure to do so is a criminal offence. 

If you have found a stray dog, try to make sure it is safely contained in order for a dog warden to be able to collect it.  

To report a stray dog, call 03444 828320

If you have lost your dog

If you have lost your dog, it may have been collected by our dog warden service or by a neighbouring borough. 

Check if your dog has been collected

Details of collected dogs are uploaded to the website within 24 hours. To claim your dog, call 03444 828300 (Monday to Sunday, 8.30am to 5pm). Calls to this number are at a standard rate and mobile friendly 

Important: You must provide proof of ownership, which can include pet registration/bills, microchip details, purchase receipt, a clear photograph and proof of address. Photographs alone may not qualify as sufficient proof that you are the current keeper of a dog. 

You can also check with: 


The cost of looking after a lost dog while it is returned to its owner will be charged to the owner. 

If a dog is collected or found by our warden and it is not wearing a tag and/or is not correctly microchipped and/or is deemed to be out of control (by straying), the owner is committing an offence and a fine is charged £70 (£25 statutory fine, £45 administration, callout and transportation costs) plus £28.80 per day kennelling fees.

Please note:  We are obliged to hold the dog for a statutory period of 7 days. If a dog is not claimed within 7 days, the dog is gifted to kennels and will be rehomed. 

What does the law say? 

  • Dog tags 
    The Control of Dogs Order 1992 states that "every dog while in a highway or in a place of public resort shall wear a collar with the name and address of the owner inscribed on the collar or on a plate or badge attached to it."  A telephone number is optional but always advised. 
  • Microchipping
    Since April 2016, it became law that all dogs must be microchipped . Breeders must microchip puppies before they are sold at 8 weeks. If you sell, re-home your dog, or move address, it is an offence not to have the details on the microchip database updated. Failure to comply could result in a fine of up to £500.
Page last updated: 14 Feb 2023