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Stray Dogs

The council has a statutory duty to respond to complaints relating to stray dogs.

A stray dog is regarded as any dog that is away from its home and is unaccompanied by it's owner or some other person.

I have lost my dog, what should I do?

The first thing to do is to inform the council as every effort is made to link reports of dogs being lost and dogs seen straying. In this way the wardens may be able to reunite a dog with their owner at the earliest opportunity. Once you have reported your dog as being lost to the council you may contact the kennels used by the council to see if your dog has been received. Owners may collect their dogs from Greenacres Animal Rescue ( Ebbs Acres Farm, Talbenny, Haverfordwest, SA62 3XA, 01437 781745) kennels by prior arrangement.

Any person whose dog has been picked up as a stray and taken to the authorities Kennelling facility will be liable for all reasonably incurred costs before the dog will be returned to them. These costs may include: -

  • A statutory fine
  • A daily boarding fee
  • Any veterinary costs.

I have found a dog or have seen a dog straying, what should I do?

If you have found a stray dog or have seen a dog straying the first thing to do is to inform the council. On receipt of a complaint the dog wardens will endeavour contact the complainant as soon as possible and take details of the dog and the location where the dog was found or seen to be straying.

The wardens will pick the dog up if this is reasonably possible and will check for details from either the collar and tag (if worn) or from a microchip.

If the owner can be identified in this manner the wardens will attempt to return the dog directly to it's owner.

This does of course require adequate contact details to be available and for there to be someone at home to receive the dog.

What happens if the owner cannot be contacted or is not at home?

In this scenario the warden would take the dog to the councils boarding kennels. If the address for the dog is known but no one is home a notice would be left informing the owner that their dog has been removed to boarding kennels. Contact details would be left for the kennels.

If the warden has concerns about the health and welfare of the dog then the animal may be taken to a local vet prior to being taken to the kennels.

What happens to dogs that aren't collected?

The council is obliged to retain any stray dogs for a period of seven days from their arrival at the kennels.

After the seven day period has ended the council is obliged to re-home the dog or in extreme cases have the dog destroyed.

Nearly every dog picked up as a stray and not collected by it's owner is re-homed with destruction only being considered in cases of poor health or where behaviour of the dog was such that the dog would not be reasonably re-homed. This invariably involves acting on veterinary advice.

Can I keep a dog that I find?

If you find a stray dog and wish to keep it, you must notify the council. You should also take it to a vet or bring it to us, so that it can be scanned for a microchip.

If the owner of the animal is looking for it, and has registered it missing, we will be able to inform the owner that the animal has been found.

If, after one month, no other owner has been identified, you can legally keep the dog, but ownership is not legally transferred, and if owners arrive any time later and can prove the dog is theirs, the dog would have to be surrendered. The only legal way of becoming the official owner of the dog is to ensure that it goes the kennel system for a period of 7 days. 

What does the council do about habitual stray dogs?

In most cases where dogs are found to be straying, every effort will be made to return to animal to its owner, if known. However, where a dog is know to regularly stray then returning the dog to it's owner may be dispensed with and the dog taken directly to the boarding kennels.

In addition to the above, you may also be found to be causing a detrimental effect on your community if you allow your dog to stray regularly. The Council has powers under the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014 to serve a Community Protection Notice on you if you are found to be continuing to cause your dog to stray. This Notice can legally require you to keep the dog under control, and failure to comply with such a Notice could result in you receiving a Fixed Penalty Ticket and/or the matter being referred for action to be taken against you in the Magistrates Court.

Owners of the dogs that do not wear a collar and tag may also face prosecution.

What arrangements are there for stray dogs outside of normal office hours?

Greenacres Animal Rescue is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and are prepared to accept stray dogs from members of the public. This is an informal arrangement that is provided on a goodwill basis and is not contractual. The contact details for Greenacres Animal Rescue are provided above.

What can I do to prevent my dog from straying?

You will need to make sure that boundary fences and gates are kept in good order. Leaving your dog in the garden while you go to work should if at all possible be avoided as in addition to the risk of your dog being let out by visitors to your property there is an increased risk of nuisance being caused to your neighbours. In addition you should ensure that the following points are observed.

  • That your dog wears a collar and tag giving adequate details (this is a legal requirement);
  • That mobile telephone numbers as well as work contact numbers are given;
  • Ideally that your dog is micro chipped and that any information contained by way of a chip is kept up to date.
  • How to stop your dog from straying

I have concerns over the welfare of a dog, what should I do?

The dog control service is unable to investigate complaints relating to the welfare of dogs and other animals. Should you have any concerns over the welfare of a dog or any other animal the RSPCA can be contacted on 08705 555999.

Does the dog warden also deal with cats?

Cats are regarded as feral, rather than domesticated animals, and as such are not subject to the same controls as dogs.

Should you be experiencing problems with Cats the Domestic Public Health Team may be able to advise you on possible control measures you could employ.

Can the dog control service re-home my dog?

The dog wardens receive a number of enquiries each year form dog owners who, for a range of reasons wish to have their dog re-homed.

The council does not provide a service for re-homing dogs but advice on the matter will be provided by the wardens.

This normally involves putting the person who wishes to have their dog re-homed in contact with one or more of a range of re-homing centres known by the dog wardens.

ID: 20375 Revised: 15/6/2016