Reclaim a lost or stray dog

If we collect a stray dog, we try to return it to their owner as soon as possible. All dogs are scanned for microchips and will be recorded on our register.

How to check if we have your dog

To find details of any dogs that the dog warden has collected, visit the Lost Dogs website.

If your dog is in our care, you can call 03444 828 300 Monday to Sunday between 8.30am and 5pm.

You’ll need to:

  • provide proof of residential address, such as a utility bill
  • provide proof of ownership, such as kennel club registration, family pet photos, or a vet bill
  • pay a charge for the collection and kennelling of your dog, as set out below

You can also see recent stray dogs collected on the Lost Dogs website.


You must pay a charge for the collection and kennelling of your dog.

The fee includes a statutory fine of £25 as the dog has strayed, and there is then a variable fee depending on the number of days it has been in the council’s care.

If your dog has needed veterinary treatment, you’ll also be required to pay the vet fees.

If we cannot find the owner

Dogs will be taken to our kennels and kept for up to 7 days.

If the dog remains unclaimed after this period it will be sent away for rehoming in accordance with the law.

Dog owners’ responsibilities

All owners are legally required to ensure their dog has:

  • a collar with a tag with their contact numbers on
  • a microchip

All dogs must be microchipped, and your most current contact details must be linked to that chip and registered to an approved database. Puppies must be microchipped by the time they are 8 weeks old.

If you do not get your dog microchipped or your details registered on an approved database, you can be served with a notice requiring you to have the dog chipped and registered within 21 days. Failure to comply with the notice would make you liable to a £500 fine.

If you move house or change your contact details, your dog is no longer considered to be microchipped, so it's very important to make sure your details are correct and up to date. This also means that if your dog strays we can contact you and reunite you both without your dog having to go to kennels and incurring additional costs.

Your local vet will also be able to help you.