Stray Dogs

Stray Dogs

What to do if you find a stray dog or your own dog is lost

What do I do if I have found a dog?

  • Check to see if the dog is wearing any form of identification that will enable you to return him/her directly to their owner

  • It is a legal requirement that all finders of stray dogs report it to the Local Authority Neighbourhood Warden Service straight away to enable owners to be reunited with their pets

If you find a stray dog Monday to Sunday between 8.30am and 4pm

Our Neighbourhood Wardens are available to collect the dog - please contact us on 0115 9177777.

If you find a stray dog Monday to Sunday between 4pm and 8.30am

We are unable to collect found dogs outside of our normal working hours and finders will need to transport the dog to the Babbington Rescue Kennels at Westby Lane, Awsworth, Nottingham, NG16 2SS and drop it off at our overnight reception center. Please call 0115 9177777 and follow the emergency instructions given on our message facility.

If you are unable to transport a dog

You are advised according to current legislation that: The finder of a stray dog is legally responsible for the dog while it is in their possession; any person who takes possession of a stray dog has a responsibility to return it to the owner if they know where they live or the finder must keep the dog safe providing it with water until such time as the dog can be either:

  • Collected the next available working day
  • The dogs owners are located via social media.

Injured / ill dogs finders should call our designated veterinary centre for advice (Vets are now at the PDSA Clinic in Dunkirk, call them on 0115 9789143) or call RSPCA emergency line 0300 1234 9999.

Please note that vets / re-homing organisations cannot take strays directly off the street or from well-meaning members of the public except under certain medical emergency situations.

What if I would like to adopt the dog that I have found?

  • Even if you are keen to adopt the dog, you will have to contact the Neighbourhood Warden Service and wait the statutory 7 day holding period
  • The Neighbourhood Warden can then pass on your details to the kennels and if they feel you are suitable. If the owner is not found you will be expected to go through their normal adoption criteria for transfer of ownership
  • If you decide to keep the dog in your home, you must inform the Local Authority Neighbourhood Warden Service who will visit you take photographs of the dog and check it for a microchip. You are then obliged by law to keep the dog for a period of 28 days. After this period you can keep the dog until such time that a person with proof of ownership claims the dog. Legal ownership is not transferred to you and the original owner may demand the dog back at any time, no matter how long you have kept them or how much money you have spent (including any vet's fees)

Why is it not advisable to look after the dog in my own home?

  • It is a legal requirement for you to inform the Local Authority Neighbourhood Warden Service (Dog Control Officer) if you take in a stray dog. If you don't, you could be accused of theft
  • The description of the dog you leave with the Local Authority may not accurately match up to that of the owner looking for their dog, which could then prevent an owner from getting their much loved pet back
  • The dog should by law have a microchip, which will not be scanned unless contact is made with the Local Authority who will check the dog for a microchip
  • It is very easy to become emotionally attached to them. Handing the dog back to the owner can be very traumatic
  • If the owner reclaims the dog through the Local Authority Neighbourhood Warden Service this will enable the Dog Control Officer to discuss the responsibilities of dog ownership, and give advice on continued security and identification and follow up the case if necessary

The loss of a dog often causes great distress on the part of the owner. In our experience, handing the dog over to the Local Authority will give the owner the greatest chances of being reunited with their much loved companion.

What do I do if I've lost my dog?

Local Authority Neighbourhood Warden Dog Control Officers are legally responsible for stray dogs and have most likely been informed that a dog has been sighted or contained and needs collecting by a finder who is unable to contact the dog's owner.

If you have lost your dog then you must contact the Neighbourhood Warden Service on 0115 9177777 during our normal opening hours: Monday  to Sunday 8.30 am - 4pm.

Stray dogs collected by us are posted on our social media channels to help spread the word.

If you live close to a neighbouring local authority call these surrounding areas too, dogs can travel far when they want to!

Please note that the Local Authority must legally only keep a stray dog for 7 days before they either re-home, pass the dog onto a rehoming organisation, or have the dog humanely put to sleep.

If your dog has been kenneled at the Council's stray dog facility, you will be required to show your identification, pay the detention and kenneling charges, purchase an up to date identification tag (if you do not already own one)  before your dog can be collected from the kennels.

If your dog was taken to our out of hours reception center there will be an additional charge of £13.20.

If your dog is not legally micro chipped the kennels can supply this service, just ask at the kennels' reception desk.

Kennel fees

Kennel Fees Per Collection Day
 Item Day 1  Day 2 Day 3  Day 4 Day 5  Day 6 Day 7 Day 8 Day 9
Kennel £11.63 £23.26 £34.89  £46.52 £58.15 £69.78 £81.41 £94.03 £104.67
Vaccination £23.16 £23.16 £23.16 £23.16 £23.16 £23.16 £23.16 £23.16  £23.16 
Admin £35.00 £35.00 £35.00 £35.00 £35.00 £35.00 £35.00 £35.00 £35.00
Kennel Cough Vaccination done if under 6 months £14.40 £14.40 £14.40 £14.40 £14.40 £14.40 £14.40 £14.40
TOTAL   £69.79  £95.82 £107.45 £119.08 £130.71 £142.34 £153.97 £166.59 £177.23


The Law

THE CONTROL OF DOGS ORDER 1992 states that any dog in a public place must wear a collar or tag with the name and address (including postcode) of the owner engraved or written on it. Your telephone number is optional (but we highly recommend this). If your dog is prone to trying to escape or a new rescue we suggest you keep the collar and identification tag on at all times even in the home.

THE 2016 DOG MICROCHIPPING LEGISLATION came into force on the 6th April 2016 all dogs in England, Scotland and Wales will be legally required to be microchipped and their up to date details registered on one of the authorised databases such as Petlog / Anibase.

Tips for finding a lost or stolen dog

  • Contact your microchip database and inform them that your dog is lost as they will notify you if someone tries to change the chip details

  • Use Social Media it is free and very effective - post to Facebook, Twitter Instagram so that your friends and followers can join the search. Also add your dog to lost dog pages

  • Call all kennels in your area and email them a picture of your dog this should include the holding kennels for your Local Authority and any boarding kennels

  • Call all the vets in your area. Ask the vet if they can put a lost dog poster up in their surgery and leave your details with them to contact you, should your dog be brought in

  • Ask your local supermarket, shops, libraries, newsagents if you can put a lost dog poster on their noticeboard

Check your Local Areas & Buildings

  • Visit places where you usually walk your dog; they may have just decided to walk themselves!

  • Look around your local area and if you have moved house recently, ask around at your last address

  • If there are any building sites or workmen in your area, speak to them in case your dog has become trapped somewhere on site

Tips to prevent your dog straying

  • Make sure your home is secure and lock your doors to prevent any accidental opening of handles, install safety catches on any low windows and when entering a garden area check the fence line is fully secured and all gates are locked before letting your dog enter

  • Make sure your dog is wearing a collar and identification tag as the law requires

  • Make sure all your details are kept up to date on your microchip as the law requires

  • If your dog is going to be looked after whilst you are on holiday then place a temporary address tag on your dog and make sure you inform the person of the emergency procedure if your dog becomes lost

  • The Council also posts details about stray dogs found by the Neighbourhood Wardens on its Facebook page

Neighbourhood Wardens
tel: 0115 917 3142