Stray dogs - Lost and found

Last updated on: 09-Apr-2021

Information Sheet on Preventing your Dog from Straying

Please remember that it is the person in charge of the dog that is responsible for ensuring it doesn’t escape. It is important that you find out how your dog escaped if it has done so already.

Through the Front Door

If the dog got out of the front door when you opened it to a caller you should consider putting in a baby gate to contain the dog in a suitable part of the house e.g. the kitchen. You could put in several including one at the bottom of the stairs so you can limit the parts of the house the dog can use. Baby gates are preferable to shutting a dog in another room as they can see what is going on and are less likely to feel excluded.

Through the garden gate or broken fence

You should check of your garden to see if the dog escaped through an open gate or damaged fence. If the dog got through a gate that someone had forgotten to shut make some changes so that it can’t happen again e.g. put a self-closing fitting on the gate. These can be bought at most DIY stores.

If the gate or fence is damaged do not let your dog out into the garden on its own until the damage has been repaired. If you live in a rented house please be aware that it is generally the responsibility of the tenant to make these repairs not the landlord.

Over the Fence

If the dog can jump the fencing you will need to consider ways of making the fencing taller although it should be no taller than 2 metres. Placing trellis on the top may be suitable.

Tethering a Dog

We do not recommend that you tether a dog. If however there is no alternative ensure it is clipped to the tether by a harness not a collar as the dog could injure its neck or strangle itself. The dog must also be far enough away from the fence so that if he tries to jump it, and manages to get over it, he will not be hung by the tether which is likely to kill the dog. A dog must always have access to water and shelter when left outside in the garden. Tethering must only be done as a last resort. If you do leave your dog tethered only do so for a limited amount of time.

Get a Dog Run

Consideration should be given to creating a dog run for your dog if it keeps escaping. The run can then have a roof in order to stop your dog from climbing or jumping out.

Workmen in the house?

If you have workmen in your house or garden shut the dog in a suitable run, another room or ask a neighbour to look after them whilst the work is being carried on. You should not give the responsibility for keeping the dog secure to the workmen.

Get your dog neutered

Dogs are more likely to want to roam if they have not been spayed or neutered. The council currently provides discount vouchers for neutering. Please contact us if you would like a voucher.

Do not allow your dog to roam

It is not acceptable to allow your dog to roam around the area in which you live. You must keep your dog under control at all times as well as safe and secure. A roaming dog can be a nuisance to your neighbours and other passers-by. It can get run over by a car or cause a car to swerve and hit a person or another car. If a person or an assistance dog gets injured by a dog you may be prosecuted for not keeping your dog under control at all times.

Avoid the penalty fee for allowing your dog to stray

Remember that if your dog is collected as a stray you will have to pay the transportation, kennelling, veterinary costs, admin costs and penalty fee to get your dog back.

Microchipping your dog

All dogs must be microchipped and wear a collar and tag whilst in a public place. All chips must be registered with the chip database and the details kept up to date. If you lose your dog and it has been microchipped, a vet or the kennels can call the microchip database and get your details so they can contact you direct. If the details are not up to date they will not be able to contact you.

Remember - 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.

Collar and Tag

When outside of the home, your dog must wear a collar with a tag with your contact details on it. If it has a collar and tag on it is likely that a finder will return it to you rather than handing it in as a stray.

Not only will you and your dog be reunited much quicker, if you get your dog back direct from the finder, it will also mean that you will not have to pay the costs incurred by your dog for transportation, kennelling, vets fees etc. and the £25 penalty fee as you would if it were handed in as a stray.

Failure to ensure your dog has a collar and identification tag with your name and address 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 or stealing your dog.

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