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Stray animals

We have a duty under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 section 149 to collect and detain stray dogs. We also have the power to dispose of the dogs if they remain unclaimed. In the vast majority of circumstances unclaimed dogs are re-homed.

If you find a stray dog

The law says that you must:

  • return the dog to its owner; or
  • contact the local authority for the area in which the dog was found and advise the authority abut where you found it

If you don't do one of these things, you may get a fine.

To report a stray, contact us on either of these telephone numbers: 

  • Weekdays 09am to 5pm call us on 01283 595795
  • All other times (including Bank Holidays) call us on 01283 221225

We employ a local kennelling company to pick up and kennel all stray dogs on our behalf. As part of managing the contract we are confident that all strays are treated with care and compassion. The contractors will get to you as soon as possible. We aim to get to all reported strays within four hours of the report.

We collect and rehome about 180 stray dogs a year, at a cost to you, the taxpayer, of approximately 25,000 a year.

On average we rehome 98% of these dogs. Regrettably we do sometimes have to have dogs put down, usually on a vets advice or where the dog is just too aggressive to safely rehome.

We find it extraordinary that dog owners allow wonderful dogs such as Marley and Busby to stray. Anyone who owns a dog and who is struggling to keep it, for whatever reason, can find a new home for their animal without needing to abandon it.

We can advise on local centres who may be willing to help find a new home for your dog.

If you would like to keep the dog

You must tell the dog warden that you would like to adopt the dog and provide them with your contact details and details of the dog. The officer cannot just hand the dog over to you, no matter how cute or in need of a good home it may seem.

We must give the owner 7 days to come forward to claim the dog. If the owner does not claim the dog then we can offer it for rehoming. Regulations require that the officer makes appropriate enquiries to make sure that you are a suitable person to keep the dog.

If you would like to adopt a stray dog

Details of all strays are put on-line as soon as possible and our kennel providers immediately start looking to re-home a dog once it arrives with them.

If you are keen to offer a new home to a stray then you can stay up to date with all local animals through PetsearchUK

What do I do if I have lost my dog?

Straying dogs will normally be rounded up and taken to the council kennels. Please contact us on the telephone numbers above and we will tell you if a dog matching the description you give has been collected.

Before we can let you have your dog back, you will have to pay a fee to cover kennelling, any veterinary fees and our administration costs. You must also arrange to collect the dog from the kennels. The total costs will depend on how long the dog has been kennelled for. Currently the costs start at 71.50 which covers the costs of the pick up, kennelling and a vaccine to prevent parvovirus.

Standards and targets

We aim to collect all stray dogs within 4 hours of receiving a report.

Contact details

South Derbyshire District Council
Environmental Health
Civic Offices
Civic Way
DE11 0AH

Tel: 01283 595795
Online: contact form

Page ref: LGSL 575

Related documents

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