Dog Control

Dangerous Dogs

What is a dangerous dog? 

The following dogs are considered to be dangerous dogs under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991:

  • Pit Bull Terrier (inc. cross bred pitbulls)
  • Japanese Tosa
  • Dogo Argentino and
  • Fila Braziliero

It is illegal to possess such a dog without a certificate of exemption, which is granted once the dog is neutered, insured, and has a micro-chip implant. These dogs cannot be in a public place without being muzzled and being securely kept on a lead by a person who is not less than 16 years old.

Furthermore, under the 1991 Dangerous Dogs Act, an offence could be committed if any dog is dangerously out of control in a public place. Even if it is not in a public place, but in a place where the dog is permitted to be and it bites someone, or frightens someone, the owner could still be prosecuted. 

Who is responsible for dealing with dangerous dogs?

Unlike in the case of stray dogs both the local authority and the police have a responsibility for responding to complaints involving dangerous dogs.

In practice complaints involving stray dogs tend to involve a joint approach unless it becomes clear that one agency is better placed than the other to deal with a particular complaint.

In instances where a dog is attacking sheep and other livestock the owner of the livestock can in law shoot the attacking dog. 

What should I do if I am confronted by a strange dog?

There is no simple answer, nor set formula to solve the problem of unfriendly dogs. However, most dogs tend to conform to predictable rules of behaviour.

This information may help you to avoid trouble:

  • Even friendly dogs will bark at you, as it is their job to defend their territory. Others will see you as a threat to themselves or their handler when out walking.
  • Talk to the dog in a firm but friendly voice and if it approaches in a friendly way - no snarl or hackles up - stand still to allow the dog to sniff you, keeping your hands clear until you feel confident.
  • As you get closer to the dog, look at how it reacts to you. If it stays put or backs off, it probably regards you as a dominant intruder and will be too scared to attack. If it walks or runs towards you with its tail wagging in a low position it is probably friendly and unlikely to bite you. If it stiffens up, holds its tail high, snarls and stares at you then be on your guard. If it bares its teeth, it may be safer to go no further.
  • Never run past a strange dog, or walk quickly away from it. This may make it chase you and you could get bitten as a result.
  • Always walk or back away slowly, facing the dog as you do so - until you are sure you are safe.
  • Show no fear. A dog can detect fear. Keep calm, walk away slowly and speak firmly to the dog.
  • Don't stare. Staring is a threat - a dog may read it as a challenge and attack.
  • Do not allow children to approach dogs they do not know. You can never be sure. Ensure that children do not poke the dog's eyes or pull its hair etc. A dog only has one way to say "I've had enough", and that is to snarl or bite.

You should remember that dogs rarely attack so don't be too anxious about every dog you meet. Most are scared about getting into a fight but like to act tough in their own territory. 

My dog has been attacked by another dog what can I do?

Unless a member of the public was at risk at the time of the attack, this would be considered a civil matter between you and the owner of the other dog concerned.

However, the Dog Control Team would be more than happy to advise you regarding appropriate action and may consider visiting the owner of the dog for an informal discussion.

I've been bitten by a dog - what should I do?

It is important to, in the first instance, obtain immediate medical help if the bite is serious, especially if your anti tetanus inoculation is out of date (a booster is normally required every ten years).

You should then immediately contact the Dog Control Team in the Council on 01437 764551 and also Dyfed-Powys Police on 101.

ID: 2344, revised 24/01/2018


Microchipping is a quick safe and permanent method of identification that very rarely stops working and can increase your chances of being reunited with your pet should it become lost or stolen.

A tiny microchip (the size of a grain of rice) is painlessly inserted in the skin at the back of the dog's neck. This has a unique code number which is entered onto a national PetLog computer database together with the owner's name and address. If the dog is found, a scanner is passed over the microchip and the owner can be identified.

Get a Chip on their Shoulder!

The Microchipping of Dogs (Wales) Regulations 2015 came into force on 6th April 2016. 

If you are a dog owner these regulations affect YOU!

The Regulations impose a number of legal duties on everyone who keeps/owns a dog.

Every keeper/owner of a dog, other than a puppy under 8 weeks of age or a certified working dog, must have their dog microchipped and must have certain information recorded on a database.

This information includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • the full name and address of the keeper/breeder
  • the original name or identification number given to the dog;
  • the contact telephone number (if any) for the keeper;
  • the email address (if any) for the keeper;
  • the name given to the dog by the keeper
  • the sex of the dog
  • the breed of the dog, or a description if it is a cross-breed;
  • the colour of the dog;
  • any distinguishing features of the dog;
  • the most accurate estimate of the dog's date of birth which the keeper is capable of giving
  • the unique number of the microchip implanted in the dog. 

The Regulations prevent a dog from being transferred to a new owner/ keeper until it has been microchipped.  As the new owner of a dog YOU are required to update the information on the database on the transfer of keeper/ownership (unless the previous owner has already done so).  Failure to comply with these regulations can result in a maximum penalty of £500.

Local Authority Officers and Police Officers are given the power to:

  • serve a notice on a dog owner requiring them to microchip their dog
  • have a dog microchipped and recover the cost of doing so from the keeper or
  • take possession of a dog, without the consent of the owner, for the purpose of checking whether it is microchipped and, if it is not, to microchip it.

For more detailed information you are encouraged to read the Regulations

If you have been served a notice but disagree you can appeal. 

How to get your dog microchipped:

Our Dog Warden currently offers FREE Microchipping for your dog.  
Please call Sally on 07557 251669 alternatively email

FREE Dogs Trust Microchipping Events

FREE Dogs Trust Microchipping Locations and Vets

Dogs Trust - Microchipping FAQ's

Don't forget to update your Details!

A chip is useless if the details are incorrect.  If you move house or change your phone number please make sure you update your dog's microchip. 

If we pick up a lost dog we will try our best to return it to you.  However if you are not available or no one is home and we can't get hold of anyone we have no choice but to take the dog to the kennels.  This can cause a lot of stress for owners and their dog and also as the owner you will be charged a Kennel fee.

If you sell/pass your dog onto someone else you must make sure the details on the chip are changed.  By law whoever is registered as the owner on the dogs microchip is the legal owner and therefore responsible.  So should the dog cause an accident or damage to someone or something whoever is registered will be held responsible.

You can check your dog's chip details online or you can call our Dog Warden Sally on 07557 251669.

Duty of Care Animal Welfare Act 2006

Section 9 of the above Act involves the provision of five requirements or "freedoms" in relation to the welfare of animals, namely:-

  • A suitable environment
  • A suitable diet
  • Exhibiting of normal behaviour patterns
  • Companionship
  • Protection form pain, suffering, injury and disease

The Council is committed to maintaining full compliance with these requirements In relation to all aspects of the dog control service

ID: 2375, revised 26/01/2018


What is neutering?

Neutering is a simple operation performed by a vet whilst the animal is under general anaesthetic. In male animals, the operation is called ‘castration' and involves removing the testes. In female animals, the operation is called ‘spaying' and involves removing the womb and ovaries. Neutering your pet means that they will no longer be able to reproduce

What are the benefits of neutering my dog?

  • It can reduce the chance of developing breast cancer and eliminates the threat of ovarian cancer and internal infections, which are common problems in un-neutered females.
  • Neutering your male dog prevents testicular tumours and may help prevent prostate problems.
  • Getting your pet neutered reduces the amount of unwanted and stray animals collected by the animal welfare service and other animal welfare organisations.
  • It helps reduce the chances of your dog wanting to escape
  • It will reduce the amount of unwanted pups that are born each year.

Dogs Trust - Low Cost Neutering

ID: 2376, revised 24/01/2018

Dogs in Cars and Dogs Abandoned in Houses

What should I do if I see a dog in distress locked in a car?

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) are primarily responsible for dogs that have been left in cars and would deal with such matters as cruelty issues. When coming across such an instance you should contact the RSPCA immediately and also contact the Dog Control Team on 01437 764551.

Because of the urgency relating to such matters both the Dog Wardens and the Police may respond to such complaints but will always liaise with the RSPCA at the earliest opportunity. 

Advice from the RSPCA - Dogs Die in Hot Cars

Who are responsible for dogs abandoned in a house?

Abandoned dogs in a house would also be primarily an RSPCA matter. Difficulties may be encountered, however, in determining whether a stray dog has been abandoned or not but in the absence of clear evidence that a stray dog has been abandoned then the dog would have to be treated as a stray. If the wardens have information relating to the owner of what is believed to be an abandoned dog then efforts would be made to return the dog to it's rightful owner. 

How do I contact The RSPCA?

The RSPCA have established a Contact Centre to take call from the public. They can be contacted 08705 555999.

ID: 2374, revised 24/01/2018

Summer Beach Bans

What beaches am I not able to walk my dog on during the summer?

Some beaches in Pembrokeshire are the subject of dog bans between 1st May and 30th September each year.

Detailed maps are available online and are displayed at all the beaches noted which identify those areas where dogs can or cannot be walked as well as lead only areas.

Partial beach bans are in place on the following bathing beaches: -

  • Lydstep
  • Newgale beach and promenade
  • Saundersfoot beach and promenade
  • Tenby Castle and South Beach
  • Amroth beach and Promenade
  • Poppit Sands
  • Broadhaven North
  • Dale

The following beaches are the subject of total dog bans: -

  • Tenby North Beach
  • Whitesands, St Davids

The Dog Control Team in conjunction with Leisure staff enforce these bans throughout the summer months.

More information on Dog Friendly Beaches can be found on the Visit Pembrokeshire website. 

Why can't I walk my dog on those beaches?

The bye-laws prohibiting dogs from areas of certain beaches exist primarily to protect the interests of bathers during the summer season. The ban is in force between the 1st May until the 30th September. As from the 1st October dogs are once more welcome on the beaches.

It is aimed at ensuring the safety and pleasure of the majority who would wish to use the beach's for sunbathing and swimming or similar seaside leisure activities.

ID: 2386, revised 24/01/2018

Dog Control Service

The Dog Control Service has recently had to be reviewed following efficiency savings.

As a result, the Council now employs 1.8 Full Time Equivalent Dog Wardens. The Council has had to consider what the statutory role of the service is i.e. what the functions of the wardens are that have to be carried out by law etc.

Therefore the Council will continue to deal with requests regarding:

  • Stray dogs
  • Dangerous dogs
  • Micro-chipping related enquieries

Unfortunately, the reductions mean that we can no longer deal with the complaints regarding dog fouling or dogs on the beaches when allegedly in contravention of the beach Beach Byelaw restrictions.

The service will also not be able to run responsible dog ownership events as it has done in the past, such as the annual 'Paws in the Park'

You can contact the Dog Control service by:

Phone: 01437 764551

ID: 2335, revised 05/02/2018

Lost, Found and Stray Dogs

When a dog is allowed to roam unaccompanied and when the owners cannot be contacted or found, the dog is classified as a Stray Dog. The Council has a responsibility to, where practicable, collect and retain any stray dog. This is both for the safety of the public and for the welfare of the dog. 

The Kennel used for the Dogs to be housed if they are found to be Stray Dogs is now at : 

Green Acres Animal Rescue
Ebbs Acres Farm
SA62 3XA

Tel: 01437 781745.

I have lost my dog, what should I do?
I have found a dog or have seen a dog straying, what should I do?
What happens if the owner cannot be contacted or is not at home?
What happens to dogs that aren't collected?
Can I keep a dog that I find?
What does the council do about habitual stray dogs?
What arrangements are there for stray dogs outside of normal office hours?
What can I do to prevent my dog from straying?
I have concerns over the welfare of a dog, what should I do?
Does the dog warden also deal with cats?
Can the dog control service re-home my dog?


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, Tel: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 01437 764551. The dog wardens will endeavour contact you 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 0300 1234 999.

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 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: 2336, revised 24/01/2018