A stray dog is any dog which is running free in a public place or on any other land where it is not permitted to be. It does not matter whether the dog has escaped by accident or that it was let loose on purpose. Any dog without a person in charge of it is therefore classed as a stray.

We employ an agent to collect stray dogs. Only dogs that are held or contained by the person who found them will be collected.

Unwanted or abandoned pet dogs will not be collected and our agent cannot deal with dogs that are running loose or have just been seen running around the neighbourhood.

See further advice on what is classed as a ‘dangerous dog’

Stray and Lost Dogs

What should I do if I find a stray?

  • If possible return the dog to the owner. There may be an address or telephone number on the collar or someone locally may know who owns the dog.
  • If there are no details on the collar, and if you are able to take the dog to a vet. The vet should be able to check if the animal is microchipped. They may then be able to contact the owners by using the various microchipping databases. This is usually the quickest way to reunite a microchipped animal with its owner.
  • If you cannot contact the owner and you have the dog contained, phone us on the number below. You will be asked to give the following details:
    • Your name and address
    • Your contact details
    • The place where the dog was found
    •  A full description of the dog (colour and patterning, sex, whether it has a tag/collar, time it was found)

Following your call, the details you have provided will be passed to our collection service and they will arrange for the dog to be collected from you as soon as possible.

We are finding an increasing number of incidents resulting from finders of stray dogs becoming involved, unintentionally, in a dispute with the owners of the stray dog, after the finder has placed the found dog on social media. We politely advise that you that refrain from posting on social media and instead wait for the warden to arrive, to avoid any public confrontation incidents.

How do I contact the collection service?

If you have a stray dog contained please contact us on the following number: 01283 508000.

Please note that this number is only available during normal working hours, 8.15am till 5pm, Monday to Friday.  You can also use our contact the council by email if preferred, but please provide as much as detail as possible about the dog (see above for the list).

Outside these hours, an emergency phone line is available on 01283 517111, and the collection service is available up to 9.30pm, 7 days a week.

We would kindly ask that you contain the dog until the agent contacts you to arrange collection.

Please note that Police stations are no longer able to accept stray dogs. If you are unable to hold onto the dog then you may have to release it, unless you can ask a neighbour to look after it until collection.

What to do if you have lost your dog

If you have lost a dog then there are organisations who can help reunite you with your pet. Here are some examples:

Petlog. They hold a database of microchipped animals (note that there are several providers of animal microchipping services, each of which has their own database). If you report your microchipped pet as missing, they can issue a local alert to animal professionals in the area where it went missing.

It is worthwhile contacting them in the first instance to ensure they hold the correct owner details (you will need your microchip details), which will enable them to contact you if the pet is reported found. You can contact them on 0844 4633 999 or via their website.

UK Missing Pets Register. They track missing and found pets, and also run a registration scheme separate from the microchipping method. Their website enables you to search their database, and add your missing pet to the list. You can find out more on their website.

When providing information on your pet, please give as much detail about the dog as possible - breed, colour, age, sex, distinguishing features, collar, tag etc and where and when it went missing.

You can also get in touch with the council to see if your dog has been reported as a stray.

My dog has been collected by the council, what do I do?

If we have collected and kennelled your dog, then arrangements can be made to reunite you with your pet as soon as possible. Please note that a charge applies to cover the costs of caring for your pet, which must be paid in full before the dog can be released to you. The charge is £25 for placing a dog into the kennels, plus a daily kennelling charge.

Whilst we make every effort to reunite pets and owners, we are not legally obliged to keep dogs in kennels indefinitely. Therefore, if no owner is found after 7 days, every effort is made to re-home the animal on the eighth day.

What if I don’t want my dog?

If you no longer want your pet dog the please contact the RSPCA (Burton Branch) on 01283 569165 who may be able to provide assistance. You may also find further information on their website.