Dogs

Last updated on: 09-Apr-2021

3. Stray dogs - Lost and found

The finder should attempt to reunite the dog with its owner by calling the owner as detailed on the tag on its collar or by taking the dog to a local vets and asking them to check if the dog is chipped. If it is, they may keep the dog in order for the owner to collect it.

If the owner cannot be contacted the dog should be taken to a fixed address e.g. the finder’s place of work or home and the council’s stray dog service contacted by phoning 01474 337000 during office hours or phone 01474 564422 outside of office hours to request a collection. The kennels may take up to two hours to collect the dog.

In the meantime the finder should keep the dog safe and we request that the details of the dog are not posted on social media until after the kennels have collected the dog so as to avoid a lost run.

At this current time the kennels will request that the finder put a lead on the dog and put the dog in the van so as to ensure social distancing is maintained. Thank you for your cooperation in this matter.

Have you lost your dog?

If you have lost your dog please telephone the Stray Dog Service on 01474 337000 to report it. We also suggest you contact Viking Oak Kennels (our stray dog kennels) and the local vet surgeries and animal rescue centres 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.

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.

Stray dogs running loose

If you see a dog running loose in the borough, that is out without its owner or keeper and is in a public place or on land to which it does not have permission to be, please phone 01474 337000 to report it as the owner may have called us reporting it lost, and we will then be able to tell them where it was last seen.

We cannot arrange for the kennels to come out to collect a dog that is running loose, so please, taking all reasonable care so as not to injure yourself or others including the dog, if possible take it into custody and to a fixed address within the borough. We will not collect it from the corner of the street, field or other similar locations or if you have also asked for someone else to collect the dog e.g. through Facebook.

If you take the dog into custody and it is found in the borough, you will need to take it to a fixed address, for example your work or home. You will then need to let us know immediately by phone 01474 337000in office hours, and requesting that the dog be picked up.

If it's during office hours we'll arrange for the dog to be collected from you within a couple of hours. You cannot bring the dog to the council offices as they are closed due to the Coronavirus control measures.

During the evenings and weekends you will need to keep the dog until the next working day when you can phone on 01474 564422 and wait to be connected to the out of hours operator who will pass the details to the stray dog kennels. The kennels will call to confirm your address and to tell you that they are on their way. Collection will be within approx. 2 hours.

If you can't keep the dog until the next working day you will need to call our out of hours duty service on 01474 337 000 and hold for the operator who will contact the kennels and give them your details. The kennels will call to confirm the address and to tell you that they are on their way.

If you have found the dog in another borough you will need to call that council direct.

Please be aware that it is the Finder who is responsible for the stray dog, not the council, the council only takes over responsibility once it is in our custody.

RSPCA Paw Prints - Gold Footprint award

The council has been awarded the RSPCA's Paw Prints - Stray Dogs Gold Footprint Award for another year for the stray dog service.

To win 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 337 000.

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.

Claiming your dog

If the stray dog service has collected your dog from a finder there is a cost involved. You will have to pay the penalty fee of £25, the admin fee of £20, the fee for the transportation to the kennels, and any vets fees.

This is in addition to any boarding fees you have to pay direct to the kennels at the time of claiming your dog. These costs will be invoiced to you after you have claimed the dog. Failure to pay them will result in the matter being referred to our Debt Collection Team.

Please note that you must claim your dog within 7 clear days of it arriving at the kennels otherwise it will most likely be re-homed.

You will need to take photo ID to the kennels as well as a proof of address. We don't have to give the dog back unless all the costs are paid. It's also important to remember that it's the person claiming the dog who has to pay the fees. Therefore if that is not the owner they should claim the fees back from the owner.

Microchipping

All dogs must be chipped - hopefully you have had your dog microchipped and have kept the details up to date. If your dog has been microchipped, a vet or the kennels can call up the microchip database and get your contact details so you can be contacted direct. If the details are not up to date this will not be possible. It is both a legal requirement to have your dog chipped and to keep the database up to date. Failure to do this may lead to a fine of £500.

Visit our Microchipping page for more information.

Collar and tag

When outside of the home, your dog must wear a collar with a tag containing your details. This means that you will likely have the dog returned to you by the finder. But if your dog does not have a collar and tag, then it is more likely to go to a vets or the stray dog kennels. Failure to ensure your dog has a collar and identification tag with the name and address of the owner inscribed on it, when it is in a public place, can lead to a fine of up to £5000. It is recommended not to put the name of the dog on the tag as this may assist someone in falsely claiming your dog.

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