Lost or stray dogs
If you find a stray dog, the most important thing is to ensure that the dog is safe, there is not a danger to the public and it is reunited with its owner.
The Civic Centre no longer has facilities to hold dogs.
You are responsible for any found stray dog, not the council. The council only takes over responsibility once the dog has been collected by the kennels.
If you have found the dog outside Gravesham, you will need to contact that council directly.
The dog is in your custody
If you have taken the dog into custody, you should attempt to reunite it with its owner. Check if the dog has a collar for a telephone number or an address. You can take the dog to a local vets who can check if the dog is microchipped. The vets may keep the dog whilst the owner collects it.
If the owner cannot be found or contacted, the dog should be taken to a fixed address in the borough, to allow the kennels to safely collect it. The kennels will not collect it from the corner of the street, field or other similar locations, or if you have taken it outside the borough.
The stray dog cannot be brought into the Civic Centre as there are no longer any facilities to hold dogs.
Stray dogs running loose
If you see a dog running loose in the borough, without its owner/keeper, in a public space then please contact us by phoning 01474 337000. The owner may have contacted us already to report the dog as lost, so we can pass on the last seen location.
We cannot arrange for the kennels to come out to collect a dog that is running loose, so if possible and safe to do so, take the dog into your custody to a fixed address within the borough.
Lost your dog
If you have lost your dog, please telephone the Stray Dog Service on 01474 337000 to report it. We suggest you contact Viking Oak Kennels (our stray dog kennels) and the local vet surgeries and animal rescue centre in Gravesham and neighbouring areas in case the dog has been handed in to them. You may also wish to contact neighbouring councils in case your dog has been found in their boroughs. For all the telephone numbers you need, view our list of organisations to contact.
Contacting the stray dog service
Contact our stray dog service to request a collection by phoning 01474 337000 between the hours of 8.45am to 5pm. If outside these hours, and the dog is safe in your custody, we ask that you keep the dog until the following working day. Alternatively, if you phone the council outside of working hours, your call will be directed to our emergency out of hours line, who will arrange for a duty officer to contact the kennels and request that they collect the dog.
You cannot call the kennels direct to request a collection. Nor can you take a stray dog direct to the kennels. The kennels are closed to calls from members of the public from 4pm to 9:30am.
The kennel will contact you to confirm the address where you are looking after the dog, and when they expect to collect the dog.
They aim to collect stray dogs within 2 hours of being contacted, but this can be impacted by demand, weather or traffic.
Whilst waiting for the dog to be collected, please keep the dog safe and give it water to drink. it is advised you do not feed the dog in case it has any allergies, or becomes travel sick.
Do not share details of the dog on social media, until the kennels have arranged collection. This is to avoid the risk of the dog being wrongly claimed by someone other than the owner.
We request that if you are going to post the details of the dog that you do not do this until after the kennels have collected the dog to avoid a lost run and to avoid the risk of the dog being claimed from you by someone that is not its owner. We may refuse to organise a collection of a dog if you have posted the details on Facebook.
Claiming your dog
If your dog is found, it must be claimed within 7 days of it arriving at the kennels otherwise it may be re-homed.
The kennels do not have to give the dog back unless all the costs are paid however we require only the boarding fees are paid at the time of collection.
The person claiming the dog will also be liable for paying the penalty fee of £25, the admin fee of £20, the fee for the transportation to the kennels, as well as any vets fees incurred.
The claimant will be invoiced for these costs after the dog has been claimed. If the person claiming the dog is not the owner then the owner should reimburse the claimant. Failure to pay the invoice for the costs will result in the matter being referred to our Debt Collection Team.
The person claiming the dog you will need to take photo ID to the kennels as well as proof of address. You will also need to take evidence to the kennels that you are the owner of the dog. This may be vaccination records, microchip records, photographs etc or providing proof that they are claiming the dog on behalf of the owner etc. Ideally the owner should attend the kennels to collect the dog themselves.
Preventing lost or stolen dogs
It is a legal requirement to have a collar and tag on your dog with your details on it including telephone number and address. This allows someone to contact you should your dog become lost, and avoiding kennel costs for reclaiming.
Failure to have a collar and tag on your dog with your current details, may result in a fine of up to £500.
All dogs must be microchipped, and the details kept up to date should they change. If your dog has been microchipped a vet or the kennels will be able to contact the microchip database to get your contact details so they can let you know to collect the dog.
It is important to find out how your dog escaped from your property, you can find some useful pointers on our information sheet on preventing your dog from straying.
RSPCA Paw Prints - Gold Footprint award
We have been awarded the RSPCA's Paw Prints - Stray Dogs Gold Footprint Award for another year.
Maintaining the Gold award means that we have provided an outstanding service in dealing with stray dogs in our borough, including providing a 24 hour stray dog collection service to ensure animal welfare, offering free microchipping services to owners that claim their lost dog and microchipping all dogs that are rehomed. We have also been taking part in regular proactive work to encourage responsible dog ownership.
The Stray Dog Service keeps a record of all the dogs that are reported to it as lost and found in Gravesham.
Viking Oak Kennels
Viking Oak Kennels are our appointed dog warden/Stray Dog Service.
Please be aware that you should only hand over a stray dog to an authorised officer from the council’s Animal Control Service or a staff member from Viking Oak Kennels. No other people have been authorised to act on behalf of the council’s Stray Dog Service.
Volunteers from Facebook groups are not working in agreement or on behalf of the council.
If you hand a dog you have found to anyone else, there is no guarantee the owner will get the dog back.
If someone else, other than an authorised officer, asks you to hand the dog over to them, unless they can demonstrate that they are the dog’s owner, please report them to our service on 01474 337000.
Only the Council’s Stray Dog Service, and Vets in the borough, have legitimate access to the microchip database to find out the name and address of the owner.