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Collecting stray dogs

We have a legal duty to collect and detain stray dogs if they remain unclaimed.

Collection of stray dogs is carried out on behalf of the council by our contractor SDK Environmental Ltd.

If you find a stray dog, look on the collar for contact details and try to return it to its owner. Your local vet may be able to scan the dog to see if it is microchipped but if this is not possible, contact SDK (in and out of office hours) on 03444 828320. You can also email,

They will aim to visit within 2 hours to collect the dog.

If you are unable to confine the stray dog, provide SDK with as much information as possible:

  • The colour, size and if possible, the breed of the dog.
  • If it is injured or distressed.
  • The location or landmark where it was last seen.
  • Information such as if you have seen it regularly going to the same place, perhaps to feed.

Dangerous dogs

If the dog is acting dangerously or causing distress in a public place (including dogs causing disruption / danger to traffic), you should contact the Police who deal with dangerous dogs.

We will make a charge to cover the cost of detaining a dog. This must be paid before the dog is returned. See our Environmental Health Fees and Charges

We 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.

If you find a stray dog

The Environmental Protection Act 1990, Section 150 requires the finder 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, they will have committed an offence and would be liable to a fine if convicted.

If the finder requests to keep the dog, they must supply the officer with their 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 they are 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.

Lost Dogs

If you have lost your dog visit the lost dog website If you have identified your dog on this website and wish to arrange its return call 03444 828 300 (operational 7 days a week 8:30am to 5pm). You should also contact local vets.


When dealing with stray dogs, as well as any other relevant information, we will take into account the relevant provisions of the following legislation:


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

Livestock that has strayed onto private land may also be impounded, at the written request of the landowner. The animals are only returned to their owners after payment for any damages and expenses 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.

Injured birds

Our general advice would be to leave an injured bird alone. If it is a baby bird, the parents will be nearby and should tend to it. If the parents do not come to it, you should call the RSPCA on 08705 555999; they will take the injured bird to a rescue centre until it can fly properly. Alternatively, contact your local Vet practice.

Environmental Health and Licensing

Daneshill House





01438 242908 / 242916