Stray, lost and dangerous dogs

Stray dogs

If we seize a stray dog, we will take it to our stray dog reception centre and keep it for seven days. Before a dog is released, the owner must pay a £86 seizure fee plus a kennel fee of £10 per day and any other costs incurred. Payment can be made before collection by credit or debit card either online or during office hours by calling 01423 500600. To make a payment you will need your dog's unique stray dog registration number and its date of seizure. This can be obtained by contacting the dog warden service on 01423 500600 during normal working hours or at other defined times from the stray dog reception centre on 07525 988061. Please note the reception centre is closed between 10pm and 8am and will not be able to respond to enquiries during this time.

Payment by cheque is not accepted and payment by cash is only available in exceptional circumstances.

No payment is to be given directly to an officer within the dog warden service.

If a dog is not claimed after seven days, we become the owner. We will re-home it, or in certain circumstances, humanely destroy the dog.

Online stray dog payment

Should you find a stray dog during office hours contact the dog warden service and they will arrange collection. Out of office hours, we do not operate a stray dog collection service so you can either return the dog to its owner, keep the dog until the next working day and then arrange collection with the dog warden service or take it to our stray dog reception centre during their operating times but before doing so you must contact them on 07525 988061 to arrange an appointment.

Lost dogs

Report a lost dog form

If you've lost your dog as well as reporting to ourselves you should contact the police on 101, local veterinary surgeries, neighbours and your microchip provider.

Identification of your dog

Microchipping your dog and making sure it wears a collar with a tag with your name and address on it in public places, will help get your dog back and ensure you comply with the law; failure to do so could lead to a fine.

Dangerous dogs

It's against the law to let any type of dog be dangerously out of control in any location. The Police is the most appropriate enforcing authority for these problems and you should contact them on 101 or in an emergency on 999.

A dog is considered to be dangerously out of control if it:

  • injures someone
  • makes someone worried that it might injure them
  • it attacks someone's animal
  • the owner of an animal thinks they could be injured if they tried to stop a dog from attacking their animal

A farmer is allowed to kill a dog if it's worrying their livestock.


If a dog is found to be dangerously out of control the person responsible can receive an unlimited fine and/or be sent to prison for up to six months.

If a dog injures someone the person responsible can be sent to prison for up to five years but if a dog is deliberately used to injure someone they could be charged with 'malicious wounding' or receive up to 14 years if a person allows a dog to kill someone.

If a person allows a dog to injure an assistance dog (for example a guide dog) they can be sent to prison for up to three years.

In all cases, the person responsible may be banned from having a dog or the dog may be humanely destroyed.