Stray dogs

If you find a dog that you think is lost or a stray, phone 01823 215013 to report it to the Somerset Dog Warden Service, St Giles Kennels or complete the online form below.

If you live in the Somerset area and find a stray in another area, for example if you are on a day trip, don’t bring it back. Report it to the council for the area where you found it.

You must make sure the dog really is a stray and that an owner is not nearby. If the dog has an identity tag, try to contact the owners, and ask them to collect it. You could also take the dog to a vet to scan for an identity microchip—the vet can then contact the owner.

If there is no tag or you cannot contact the owners report it to our dog warden at St Giles Kennels.

You will need to tell us:

  • the dog’s breed
  • the dog’s sex
  • where and when you found the dog

Strays taken to kennels

Dogs seized by the dog warden will be taken to St Giles Kennels, Wrantage, TA3 6DJ.

Owners must pay a fine of £25 plus costs and daily kennelling fees so they can get their dog back. They may also have to pay any vet’s fees if the dog has need urgent treatment.

The dog will stay in the kennels for 7 clear days. The owner can reclaim it between 10am to 1pm and 2pm to 5pm 7 days a week except for:

  • Christmas Day
  • Boxing Day
  • New Year’s Day
  • Easter Sunday

If the dog is not claimed in that time, the dog we take ownership and, in most cases, we will re-home the dog.

The Dogs Trust provide a wide range for helpful advice for dog owners.

The dog warden will collect a confined stray between 9am and 5pm 7 days a week. There is no out of hour collection service.

Are dogs put to sleep?

Somerset Council makes every effort not to put unclaimed stray dogs to sleep. A dog would only be put to sleep on veterinary advice to relieve suffering or if the dog were vicious.

Lost dogs

Report your lost dog

If you have lost your dog, report it to us and we can check to see if someone has found your dog and notified us.

You will need to:

  • give us a photo of your dog
  • describe your dog’s collar
  • tell us about your dog’s microchip
  • tell us where and when you last saw your dog.

You could also:

If your dog has already been found

If someone has found your dog already and brought it to us, we will:

  • ask you to meet us at the kennels to collect your dog
  • ask you to pay the kennelling fees for your dog’s stay

You can contact St Giles Kennels on 01823 490333 to see if it’s been taken there.

If your dog has been taken to the kennels, it will stay in there for 7 clear days. You can reclaim it between 10am to 1pm and 2pm to 5pm 7 days a week except for:

  • Christmas Day
  • Boxing Day
  • New Year’s Day
  • Easter Sunday

After 7 clear days if the dog is not claimed, we will own the dog and will usually re-home it.

Laws and regualtion

It is an offence under The Control of Dogs Order 1992 for a dog to be in a public place without a collar and tag bearing the name and address of its owners.

Public Space Protection Orders or By-laws relating to dog on leads and dog ban areas are clearly signed. You can ask the dog warden for details.

Under the Microchipping of Dogs (England) Regulations 2015 all dogs in England over the age of 8 weeks must, by law, be fitted with microchips. More details on microchipping can be found on GOV.UK – Get your dog microchipped.

We have a legal duty under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 section 149 to collect stray dogs and take them to kennels. This is the only legal duty the dog wardens have to provide.

Dog microchipping

On 6 April 2016, central government legislation came into force that makes it compulsory for all dogs that are 8 weeks or older are to be microchipped. All dog owners are also required to ensure that their contact details are kept up to date with their microchip company.

The law still requires you to make sure that your dog wears a collar and identification tag when in a public place.

A collar and an identification tag are reasonably inexpensive and will ensure that anyone finding your dog, will be able to contact you and reunite you with your dog as quickly as possible.

Why you should microchip your dog

  • The chip identifies the dog to you and could be the only means to prove the dog is yours should there be an ownership dispute.
  • All vets and local authorities scan stray dogs, so it enables the dog to be returned to you if the collar or tag was removed.
  • If your dog gets stolen it can be the only means to prove ownership.
  • Dogs that we collect that do not have any form of identification are classed as strays and are taken to a kennels which can be stressful for the dog.
  • If your address or phone number changes do not forget to contact the microchip company and update your details.

What happens if I don’t get my dog microchipped?

If a dog is not microchipped, the council may serve a notice on the keeper of the dog to require them to have the dog microchipped within 21 days. If the keeper fails to arrange for this, the council may take possession of the dog, microchip it and recover the costs from the keeper for this.

Where can I get my dog microchipped?

Most vets will do this for you, private companies also offer microchipping services.

Last reviewed: May 24, 2024 by Ian

Next review due: November 24, 2024

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