Stray Dogs and the Law

Stray Dogs and the Law

Although it is not yet a legal requirement (except as required by the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991), it is always a good idea to have your dog micro-chipped with its own unique identification number. This way you can be traced quickly and your dog returned safe and sound.

Under Section 2 of the Control of Dogs Order 2002, every dog on a highway or in a public place must wear a collar with the name and address of the owner inscribed on it or on a plate or badge attached to it. Failure to do so is an offence against the Animal Health Act 1981 for which an owner can be prosecuted and fined.
Any dog without a collar on a highway or in a public place may be treated as a stray dog and seized by the Local Authority.
If your dog strays, you should contact your local dog warden (through the Environmental Health Department of your Local Authority) immediately and stay in regular contact. If your dog is found by the Local Authority, you must pay the Local Authority’s reasonable expenses before it will be returned to you.

If after seven days, the owner of the stray dog does not come forward, the Local Authority may transfer the dog to someone else, transfer it to an establishment for stray dogs ( or in some areas, have it destroyed ).

If you are the finder of a stray dog you must either return it to its owner immediately or take it to your Local Authority. If you want to keep the stray dog, you must provide your name and address to the Local Authority and keep the dog for a period of not less than one month.
NB. Under Section 27(5) of the Road Traffic Act 1988 it is a criminal offence to have a dog on a designated road without the dog being on a lead.