Stray dogs

The Council has a duty under Section 149 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to collect and detain stray dogs and has the power to dispose of the dogs if they remain unclaimed.

When dealing with stray dogs we will take into account the relevant provisions of:

  • The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 
  • The Dogs (Fouling of Land) Act 1996 
  • The Control of Dogs Order 1992 
  • The Abandonment of Animals Act 1960 
  • The Animal Welfare Act 2006 
  • Any other relevant legislation

The Environmental Protection Act 1990 Section 150 requires the finder of a stray dog to:

  • Return the dog to its owner, or 
  • Contact the local authority for the area in which the dog was found.

If the finder fails to take one of these courses of action, they will have committed an offence and would be liable for prosecution and, upon conviction, to a fine.

If the finder requests to keep the dog, they must supply the Council Officer with their contact details and details of the dog. The officer is required to keep a record of these details.

Regulations require that the officer makes appropriate enquiries to ascertain that the finder is a suitable person to keep the dog.

The finder must then informed verbally and in writing that they are obliged to keep the dog (if unclaimed by the owner) for not less than one month and that failure to comply with that obligation is a criminal offence.

The first time a dog is caught straying, the Dog Wardens will return it to its owner if the dog is wearing a tag or it is micro-chipped.

If a stray dog is caught and its owner cannot be traced, it will be kept in boarding kennels. If the owner of the dog does not collect it within seven days they will lose the right to reclaim it and the Council will try to re-home it. If the owner reclaims the dog then kennelling costs will be recharged to them prior to the release of the dog.

If a dog is found straying for a second time the dog will be placed in kennels for seven days and if the owner fails to claim the dog the Council will try to re-home the dog. Should the owner reclaim the dog, then kennelling costs will be recharged to them prior to the release of the dog.

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