Stray Dogs

A finder of a stray dog is obliged to forthwith return the dog to its owner or take it to the local authority.
Failure to do so is a criminal offence.

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If you have lost your dog you should notify the local authority and keep in regular contact with them, and of course notify your microchip database.

If after 7 clear days the owner of a seized stray dog has not come forward to claim their dog (and pay the fees) then the Council may give the dog to someone else and the original owner’s claim to the dog is likely to come to an end.

A finder of a stray dog has a statutory duty to forthwith either take the dog to the local authority or return it to the owner’.

By law, when your dog is outside (except in limited circumstances) it is required to wear a collar with the name and address of the owner inscribed on the collar or on a plate or badge attached to it.

In addition to complying with this, you must ensure that your dog is microchipped and the details are kept up to date.

If you fail to comply:-

  • You are committing a criminal offence, and
  • You are making it less likely that you will get your dog back if it strays

Please note that the above summary only relates to the law in England and Wales.

You must not rely on it as constituting legal advice and so for specific guidance on your particular doglaw issues please contact us – see our “How we can help” section for details.