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Stray and Lost Dogs

A stray dog is any dog which is running free without its owner being present.  Legally it makes no difference if the dog is loose accidentally or has been deliberately allowed to roam.

If an owner allows their dog to stray they commit an offence. Stray dogs can be seized, and the owner must pay a fine before a dog can be returned.  Where possible we attempt to seize all stray dogs.

Outside working hours

  • We only provide a collection service during office working hours Monday - Friday (9am-4pm).  Police stations are now unable to accept dogs
  • If you can, please take care of the dog until the next working day, when we will arrange to collect it from you
  • It may be possible for you to take the dog to the City Dogs Home in Bucknall.  Please contact them by calling 01782 304130 to check if they could receive the dog before travelling.  They are not obliged to accept the dog from you. The City Dogs Home will not accept dogs after 4pm.
  • You should advise our out of hours contact service that you have found a dog by calling 01782 615599. They will record your contact details and where the dog was found.  They pass this information to us the next working day.  They may also have had a call from someone reporting the dog lost and may be able to match the owner with the finder
  • If the dog is injured please contact Vets Now by calling 01782 513366 who will advise you.

What happens to the dogs we find:-

  • Where a dog warden finds a stray dog they may seize it
  • If we can find its owner's details (perhaps from its tag or a microchip) we will contact them
  • It's our policy to scan every dog we find to see if it has a microchip. The Microchip (England) Regulations 2015 state that all dogs have to be microchipped.We then contact the microchip provider for the details they have registered
  • If we are able to contact the owner, and they are able to pay the fine straight away we will arrange to return the dog, provided that someone will be home to receive it
  • In all other cases we will take the dog to the City Dogs Home or make alternative arrangements with the finder, a vet, or an animal charity to look after the dog for us
  • Owners have up to seven days to reclaim their dogs from the kennels, but must pay the fine and daily kennelling charges before it will be released.
  • We display pictures of the dogs the dog wardens have found in last seven days on our website. View the page.

How much will it cost to reclaim my dog?

If we can return your dog to you quickly we charge £70. You need to pay by credit or debit card to our customer services team.

If we can’t contact you, no one is home, or you can’t pay promptly, we will take your dog to the City Dogs Home.  Their charge will be from £81.50.  They will add £11.50 for each day the dog has been at the kennels.  Your dog will be released once any charges have been paid. There is no option to pay later or pay by instalments.

Your dog can remain at the kennels for up to seven days. After seven days unclaimed dogs may be rehomed or, if there is no other option, put to sleep.

Since April 2016 all dogs must be microchipped. If your dog is unchipped, or the details recorded are out of date you must microchip your dog/update your details.  The City Dogs Home may be able to implant a chip, or update your details with the microchip database company, but you will need to pay any associated charges.  If your dog is not correctly microchipped or your contact details are not up to date after 21 days, the Dog Warden may issue an enforcement notice.

Prices quoted are valid until 31 March 2020.

Report a stray dog or lost dog

Anybody who finds a stray dog should report it to us here - REPORT IT

We will need to know:

  • your name, address and a contact telephone number
  • a description of the dog and if it has a collar on
  • if you have hold of the dog and how long you could hold it for.

Your details will be passed to the dog warden who will collect the dog from you during working hours (Monday to Friday 9am-4pm)

If the dog is still running loose we will attend as soon as we can.

Staffordshire Police are unable to accept stray dogs.

Last updated 24 September 2019

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