The council has a legal obligation to seize any stray dogs found in the community.
The area officers are constantly patrolling the borough and responding to stray dog complaints from the public. It is an offence to allow your dog to stray and the area officers have a number of actions they may take for every dog seized.
If a straying dog is found the area officers will make every effort to seize it. If at all possible we will try and locate the owner using the disc and micro chip details and inform them of the offence. This is then registered as a first offence and a fixed penalty notice issued for allowing the dog to be off a lead on the highway.
If your dog carries identification we will try and return the dog to you. We cannot return the dog to you if no one is at home or the wrong details are displayed on the disc or micro chip. The dog will be transferred to the council contracted kennels.
For lost dogs, contact the council as soon as possible and if you need to go out and look for your dog, leave a responsible person at home to answer the door and telephone.
If you allow the dog to stray a second time or on a regular basis, you may get a further fixed penalty notice for allowing the dog to be off a lead on the highway or a recommendation made to the council's legal department to prosecute you the owner.
Retrieving your dog from the kennels as a result of your dog straying is an expensive business. You will be responsible for all fees incurred as a result of your dog's detainment (officer time, government levy, kennel fees), plus any vets fees incurred.
During office hours, you need to contact the council and provide details and proof of ownership of your dog. When you have paid the charges and confirmed the dog is yours kennels will be notified in order for your dog to be released to you. Payment may be made directly with the kennels. The kennels will take your contact information and provide full details to the council. Outside of office hours, contact the duty officer for authorisation to collect from kennels.
Please note: In line with the council's policy we never release a dog until all fees are paid in full by cash or card.
Payment may be directly with the kennels on behalf of the council. The kennels will take your contact information and provide this to the council for the Government Register.
Reporting stray dogs
If you find a stray dog, by law, you must do one of the following:
- Return it to its owner or
- Arrange for the street scene service to deal with the dog
If you want to keep the dog you have found, you should contact the street scene service who will explain the legal procedure for doing this.
However well meaning, you must remember it is illegal to keep a stray dog and not inform the council or the police that you have it in your possession.
Dogs do get lost for all sorts of reasons through no fault of their owners and accidents do happen. It is likely that the dog has an owner who is desperately looking for it.
Code of conduct
The law states that:
- You must always ensure your dog is wearing a collar and identity disc, that it is micro chipped and the details up to date. Microchips are a legal requirement and excellent as a 'back up' in case the collar is removed or falls off accidentally. If your dog is easily identifiable it makes re-uniting you with your lost pet so much easier and less distressing for everyone concerned
- When out walking, you must keep your dog under control at all times. Wyre borough has designated areas where dogs are banned and areas where they can exercise freely
To ensure your dog doesn't stray, when at home, keep your gates locked and the doors closed. During the summer months if you have your doors and windows open, ensure your dog is in an enclosed area or on a running chain in the garden. Ensure your garden walls and fences are sturdy and high enough to prevent the dog jumping over.
Make sure your dog is never left alone while out and about, and a responsible person is left in charge.
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