Dogs - Stray, found and lost

A stray dog is defined as any dog in a public place that is not under the control of its owner. Found dogs that are contained in a person’s home or garden can be collected by the Council’s dog warden, and taken to Carlton Forest Boarding Kennels, Worksop. All reports of roaming stray dogs will be checked and patrolled by the dog warden.

What are the legal responsibilities of owners?

All dogs must by law wear a collar and tag. Failure to do so could result in a fine of up to £2000. It is recommended that you only put your contact details on the tag and not the name of your pet, as thieves may be able to use this information to pass off your dog as their own pet.

Additionally, from 6th April 2016, all dogs over 8 weeks of age must by law be microchipped. Vets and animal charities will be able to microchip your dog either for free or for a small cost (approximately £10 - £20). If your dog is microchipped then you must also ensure that its details are updated, such as your address and contact details. Failure to microchip your dog can result in a fine of £500.

Owners must make sure that their gardens are secured appropriately to prevent their dog from roaming and must never deliberately allow their dog to roam free.

Information for finders of lost dogs

If you have contained a stray dog in your home or garden, there are a number of options open to you:

  • If the dog has a collar and tag, you can contact the owner directly and have the owner collect the dog
  • You can take the dog to the local vets or animal charity to check whether or not the dog is microchipped. Some vets offer this service for free. The vet will scan the dog to check if there is a chip. If there is, the vet may keep the dog or will ask your permission to pass on your contact details to the owner. The owner will then contact you to arrange collection and offer their thanks.
  • You can also take found dogs to Carlton Forest Boarding Kennels yourself at the address below. However, if you do this, you must call our Contact Centre on 01302 736000 prior to your journey; this registers the dog on our database and provides you with a reference number that the Kennels need in order to book the dog in. If you do not have the reference number you may find that the Kennels refuse to take the dog until one is provided.
  • You can also contact the council and arrange for the dog warden to collect the dog. All dogs collected by the dog warden are taken to Carlton Forest Boarding Kennels to await either collection by the owner or re-homing. There is an online form below or you can call the Contact Centre on 01302 736000. The dog wardens are available to collect dogs between 8am and 4pm Mon to Fri. If when the Dog Warden calls you are not home and/or they are unable to contact you no further arrangements will be made to collect the dog and you will be required to take the dog to the kennels yourself.
  • You can choose to continue to hold the dog in your home. Again, if you choose to do this, you must call the Contact Centre on 01302 736000, in order to inform us. This enables us to reunite the found dog with its owner, should the owner come forward.
    • If you choose to do this, you must be aware that by law, you must continue to contain the dog for a minimum period of 28 days, should the owner not claim their dog.
    • Please note that you will be asked by the Contact Centre to allow your contact details to be passed to the owner, should the owner come forward. If you are not prepared to do this, then the dog warden will schedule the collection of the dog.
    • Additionally, if you continue to hold the dog in your home, but subsequently decide that you cannot keep the dog after the minimum 28 day period, you must take the dog to Carlton Forest Boarding Kennels yourself. The dog warden will not collect the dog at that point. Therefore, when you contact the Council you must consider whether or not you have available transport, should you wish to continue to contain the dog in your home
  • Finally, if you or the Council cannot locate the dog’s owner and you subsequently decide to keep the dog for yourselves, after the minimum period of 28 days, you must inform both the council and the Police (on the non-emergency number 101) of your decision. As a responsible dog owner you must ensure that the dog has a collar and tag with your contact details and you must ensure that the dog is either microchipped or has the microchip details updated to reflect your new ownership. One thing to bear in mind in this situation is that, should the owner contact you at any point in the future and are able to provide proof of ownership, they have a legal right to collect the dog from you.

Information for owners of lost dogs

If you have lost your dog, then there are a number of steps that you can take in order to retrieve it.

  • You can check the list of found dogs (see link below) in the Doncaster area. If the description of the found dog matches your dog’s description, then call our contact centre on 01302 736000. 
  • You can also use other web sites, such as:
  • Please note that if you have lost your dog and it is found not to be microchipped, you may be given a period of grace for 21 days to rectify this. During this time, you must have your dog microchipped or you could face a Fixed Penalty Notice of up to £500.

If your dog is taken to Carlton Forest Boarding Kennels then you will need to take two pieces of proof of identity plus proof that you are the dog’s owner (photographs, pet passport, vet documentation). A fixed fee is also payable to Carlton Forest Boarding Kennels before dogs can be returned. This is £50.00 to cover the cost of boarding for the dog; the Kennels will also apply a caring charge of £8.50 per day. If your dog is not collected within 7 days, then they will be made available for re-homing.

Carlton Forest Boarding Kennels
Glebe House
Blyth Road
Nottinghamshire, S81 0TP
Tel: 01909 731792

What should I do if I think a dog is dangerous, banned or stolen?

Dangerous, banned or stolen dogs should be reported directly to the Police on 101.

Last updated: 10 June 2022 13:21:47