The stray dog law
Found a Dog? Not sure who it belongs to? What do you do?
We took phone call recently from a lady who had found a dog. She had taken the dog home and called us to ask if we could help, as she didnt want the dog going to the dog warden- we had a chat and then contacted the dog warden on her behalf and the dog was soon claimed by her worried owner.
If you find a dog you HAVE to contact the dog warden- in the area that you found the dog- by law. Failure to do so is a criminal offence. The dog warden is normally the FIRST person that an owner contacts- and by notifying the dog warden then you could get that dog home to its worried owner within hours. If you don’t notify the dog warden then you may PREVENT the owner from finding their dog.
Do NOT assume that a straying dog has been dumped or is an abused coursing dog or whatever. A dog may be thin as a result of straying for a while. It may be covered in scars as it enjoys going through hedges on walks, OR it may be a rehomed rescue dogs and the scars may be from its life previous to rescue.
If its not wearing a collar then it may have slipped the collar or escaped from its home or garden. No collar doesn’t mean no owner.
Dog wardens are not all big scary people that take dogs and put them to sleep. Under UK law dogs have to do seven days in pounds. Many pounds will then try to find rescue spaces for the dogs in their care. Yes some dogs do get PTS but there are many people out there trying to help dogs in pounds- you could contact a rescue and let them know about the dog, and ask them to help once he or she has done their 7 days. Some dog wardens will let you care for the dog for a while too.
Thousands of dogs go missing each year and many don’t make it home. Some sadly die, some are stolen, but i believe that many people do not get their dogs back because finders decide to keep the dog, or give it to a friend. Please imagine what it would feel like if you lost your dog and never found him or her because the finder decided to keep the dog and not tell anyone that they found them,
DO- Contact the Dog Warden
DO- Get the dog scanned for a chip
DO- Check Doglost.co.uk
DO- Notify local vets
DON’T assume that the dog has been dumped or poorly treated
DON’T keep the dog and not notify anyone
DON’T give the dog to a friend or sell to someone
DON’T make it harder for a worried owner to find their pet.
DON’T hand it into rescue as your dog- it is not yours to rehome
I think this video shows exactly why we should all do as much as we can to reunite dog and owner.