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 reunited 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 is not 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 using the details on the right hand side of this page.

We will require the following information in order to arrange collection of the dog:

  • your name, address & a contact telephone 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, if possible you should keep the dog until the next working day, when you can contact environmental health to arrange collection of the dog. 

If this is not possible, you can call the council's emergency number 01491 824033.  The call centre will require the information as detailed above. They will then call the council's out of hours dog warden who will contact you direct to arrange collection.

What happens to the stray dog?

  • When the dog is collected it will be taken to kennels. 
  • We will keep a stray for seven days after 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 have 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: 30 - 09 - 2013

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