What to do if you find a stray dog

Which is the way home?

There’s still a lot of confusion about what to do when you find a stray dog?  Take him home?  Hand him over to the police?  Leave him where he is? ……………..

None of the above is correct.    If you take him home, the person looking for him won’t know where he is. No matter how well meaning, imagine the anxiety the owners feel when they are searching for a dog that has been taken, possibly many miles away.    The police no longer deal with stray dogs.   Their only area of concern is when the dog is dangerous and then it is their responsibility.    If you leave the dog where he is, he may run on the road and get knocked down.
Getting hold of the dog is the easy bit!    So what to do with him now. If it’s during working hours, Monday to Friday, a call to your local council will put you in touch with the Dog Wardens and they’ll come and pick the dog up.
If it’s out of hours, evenings or weekends, still ring the Council – you will, hopefully, be put through to the Council Care Line who deal with out of hours problems. They will give you the number of the designated kennels in your area, who will accept a stray dog.

They should also ask you where you found the dog. This is the important bit – the stray dog kennel will only be allowed to accept in dogs from their area. Every Local Authority in the U.K. is likely to use a different kennel. The dog is taken to the kennel in the area where it is found. Makes sense though. There is someone likely to be searching for the dog in that area and the care line and council will have the owner’s name and phone number on file.

So if you find a dog in for example, the Sheffield area, don’t take him home with you and try to hand him in, say to a kennel in Chesterfield or Bolsover. They won’t be able to take him. It would be difficult for his owners to locate him quickly once he had gone out of the area.

If you find a stray dog out side normal working hours:

1. Phone the Care Line (the council switch board will put you through)
2. Tell them where you have found the dog
3. Take the dog to the designated kennels in the area he has been found – they’ll check the dog for microchip and put him on the lost dog register.
4. Give yourself a pat on the back – Well Done for helping to get a lost dog off the streets.

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