Stray Dogs


Stray dogs are a serious problem; they can cause road accidents and may harass members of the public. In addition, there is no control over where they foul. Arun District Council has a legal duty to deal with any dog found straying in the district. The keeper of a dog is legally responsible for allowing it to stray, regardless of how it escaped. 


If you find a stray dog

If you find a stray dog you should return it to its owner, or contact Arun’s Dog Warden Service during working hours, giving details of: the dog, where it was found and your contact details.

Arun’s Dog Warden Service (01903 737755) will collect stray dogs reported during office hours, when the Dog Warden is available, and temporarily hold the dogs in kennels. The dog will be safe and well cared for by expert staff and will be returned to the owner as soon as possible after a claim.


If you have lost a dog

If you have lost a dog you can report it to us, during office hours, on 01903 737755. We will record the details in case it is found and reported to us. Let us have a description and when and where it was lost.

We will put you in touch with our kennels to establish if your dog has been found and is being cared for. Dogs will only be released after payment of a charge, which must be paid by card or cash.


The council’s powers to collect strays and charge for their return

If the owner/keeper of the dog can be identified, an attempt will be made to contact or return it directly to that person. Where the dog cannot be directly returned, it will be taken to kennels provided on behalf of the Council.  Although attempts will be made to trace the owner, the Council has no duty to do so unless the dog wears a collar and tag, with the owner’s name and address on it.  Dogs are routinely scanned for microchips, although we cannot guarantee that all microchips will be detected. The onus is on the owner to claim the dog.

A charge will be made before a dog is returned to its owner/keeper and this will increase for each day that the dog is kept in kennels.  A person is not entitled to have their dog returned until they have paid this charge. It includes the expenses incurred with operating the service, plus a set fee of £25 which the Council can charge by law.

(Environmental Protection Act, 1990 - Section 149 & Environmental Protection (Stray Dogs) Regulations, 1992)

The Council has to keep the stray dog for seven days. After this time, if it has not been claimed, or if the charges have not been paid, the dog can be disposed of. On the rare occasions that this happens, the dog is usually found a new home through animal rescue organisations, but it may be humanely destroyed if no home can be found.


Collar and tag requirements

All dogs, with a few minor exceptions, whilst in a highway or public place, must wear a collar, with the details of the owner inscribed on the collar, or on a tag attached to it. The maximum penalty for non-compliance is £5,000.

(Control of Dogs Order, 1992)



Please see our page regarding the law on microchipping your dog.


Dog warden charges

Stray dogs
Dog picked up but not kennelled £65.00
Up to 1 day in kennels £90.00
(includes a dog taken in to kennels but not kept overnight)  
Up to 2 days in kennels £120.00
Up to 3 days in kennels £140.00
Up to 4 days in kennels £160.00
Up to 5 days in kennels £180.00
Up to 6 days in kennels £200.00
Up to 7 days in kennels £220.00
Up to 8 days in kennels £240.00


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