I've found a stray dog

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I’ve found a stray dog, what should I do?

If the dog has a tag on its collar with the owners’ details on, please try and contact the owner first.  They may be nearby and looking for their dog.  Contacting them directly is the quickest and easiest way to reunite dog and owner.  It also means the owner will avoid kennel fees.

Please try and secure the stray dog by putting it in a garage or shed or tying it on a lead. Our contractor will try to catch a dog that is running loose, but this isn't always possible. Our contractor will always prioritise loose dogs if they’re a potential threat, like running near a school.

If the dog is causing a danger, such as running in traffic, you should contact Thames Valley Police on 101.

How do I report a stray dog?

During our normal office hours if you find a stray dog, call us (see contacts section of this page).

We'll need this information to arrange to collect the dog:

  • your name, address and a contact phone number
  • an address where the dog can be collected from (if different from above)
  • a full description of the dog including details of any collar or tag
  • the location and time that you found the dog.

Outside our normal office hours of Monday-Thursday 8.30am-5pm and Friday 8.30 am-4.30pm you can call the council's emergency number 01235 422410.  The call centre will need the information listed above. They'll then call the council's out of hours dog warden who'll contact you direct to arrange collection.

What happens to the stray dog?

  • When the dog is collected it will be taken to kennels. 
  • We'll keep a stray for seven days from the day it was collected. 
  • If necessary, first-aid veterinary treatment will be provided.
  • We have an arrangement with our kennels for re-homing unclaimed strays after they've been kept for seven days.
  • A dog will normally only be put down on veterinary advice to avoid suffering.
  • We are unable to rehome any dog that shows aggressive behaviour or is deemed to be a banned breed by the police under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.

Can I keep a stray dog?

If you find a stray dog and want to keep it, by law you must let us know.  We have a legal duty to make sure potential new owners of strays will feed and care for the dog properly.

Last reviewed: 12 - 02 - 2019

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