Stray animals

The Council has a legal duty to collect and detain stray dogs if they remain unclaimed.

Stray Dogs

The Council has a legal duty to collect and detain stray dogs.

If you find a stray dog, look on the collar for contact details and try to return it to its owner. If this is not possible:

During Office Hours
Contact the Council’s Animal Services Team. An officer will visit within 4 hours to collect the dog.

Outside Office Hours
Contact the Council’s kennelling provider on 01462 730464.

  • Between the hours of 17.00 & 22.00 they will collect the dog from you.
  • On Saturdays, Sundays & Bank Holidays, you can take the dog to our kennels (telephone them first to make the arrangements) or keep it until the next working day, when the Council’s Animal Services Team will collect it from you

We will always try to return a dog to its owner. Where this is not possible, we will make every effort to ensure that it is re-homed.

The Council will normally make a charge (see Environmental Health Fees and Charges) to cover the cost of detaining a dog. This must be paid before the dog is returned.

When dealing with stray dogs we will take into account the relevant provisions of:

  • the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991
  • the Dogs (Fouling of Land) Act 1996
  • the Control of Dogs Order 1992
  • the Animal Welfare Act 2006
  • any other relevant legislation

The Environmental Protection Act 1990 Sec 150 requires the finder of of a stray dog to:

  • return the dog to its owner; or
  • contact the local authority for the area in which the dog was found.

If the finder fails to take one of these courses of action, he will have committed an offence and would be liable, upon conviction, to a fine.

If the finder requests to keep the dog, he must supply the officer with his contact details and details of the dog. The officer is required to keep a record of these details.

Regulations require that the officer makes appropriate enquiries to ascertain that the finder is a suitable person to keep the dog.

The finder must then be informed verbally and in writing that he is obliged to keep the dog (if unclaimed by the owner) for not less than one month and that failure to comply with that obligation is a criminal offence.

Other animals

Under the Animal Act 1971 the Council can impound any livestock which has strayed onto Council land.

The animals are only returned to their owners after payment for any damages and expenses incurred.

Livestock that has strayed onto private land may also be impounded, at the written request of the landowner.

If known, the owner of the animal will be informed that the animal has strayed onto Council land, and giving details of where it can be collected within a given time, subject to the payment for any damage caused, and expense incurred.

We will notify the police of the straying animal and inform them that we intend to impound it.

After a certain time, we will arrange for the animal to be impounded and removed to a suitable establishment where it will be held.

The animal will be returned, on satisfactory proof of ownership and the payment for any damage caused, and expense incurred.

If any animal has not been claimed after a given time, it will be sold. If the owner appears after this time and produces satisfactory proof of ownership, any monies received will be given to the owner less the cost of any damage caused, and expense incurred.

Online

Dog Warden Service form

Useful links

The Environmental Protection Act 1990 Sec 150

DEFRA  - Animal Health and Welfare information

RSPCA

Dangerous Dogs Act 1991

Dogs (Fouling of Land) Act 1996

Control of Dogs Order 1992

Animal Welfare Act 2006 

Contact details

Environmental Health & Licensing
Stevenage Borough Council
Daneshill House
Danestrete
Stevenage
Herts, SG1 1HN

01438 242908 / 242916
env.health@stevenage.gov.uk

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