This page contains information about procedures relating to stray dogs.
If the dog is dangerous, it should be dealt with directly by the police. If the situation is an emergency, please contact the police on 999 (or 101 depending on the seriousness of the situation).
In County Durham, it is a Public Space Protection Order offence to allow a dog to stray (wander loose/roam free) without a responsible owner present.
Reporting a stray dog
If you're not sure who the owner is Report a stray dog. We have a duty to collect and impound dogs that are reported straying in a public place and are not accompanied by their owner or a person in charge. A neighbourhood warden will come and collect the dog and check to see if it has a dog microchip, or has any other means of identification (such as a collar and identification tag). It is the law that all dogs must be microchipped.
If you're certain you know who the dog owner is and it is safe to do so, please return the dog to its owner.
When we will collect a stray dog from you
Stray dogs can only be collected between the following times;
- Monday to Thursday between 9.00am and 7.00pm
- Friday between 11.00am and 9.00pm
- Saturday and Sunday between 5.00pm and 9.00pm
There is no collection service out of hours. If you find a dog outside of the above working hours, we will contact you to arrange to collect the dog as soon as possible within these hours, alternatively you can contact Stray Aid and arrange to take the dog directly to them.
If we can find the owner
If we scan the dog and it is microchipped, we can find out its owner. We will then attempt to contact the owner to let them know we have found the dog.
The owner will need to collect the dog from Stray Aid, East Pasture Farm, Durham, DH6 4EL. Education advice will be provided explaining responsible dog ownership, the law requiring the dog is microchipped and the PSPO offences should they allow the dog to stray again. A £100 Fixed Penalty Notice (fine) may be issued for allowing the dog to stray. Failure to pay the Fixed Penalty Notice will lead to prosecution.
If we can not find the owner
If we're unable to contact the owner, or the dog has no means of identification, and/or the dog has been collected as a stray previously, we will take it to Stray Aid kennel provider. We will not put a dog down. If a dog has not been claimed within seven days it will be transferred to the ownership of Stray Aid and they will offer the dog for re-homing.
If you have lost your dog....
Contact Stray Aid to find out if your dog has been taken there. If your dog is at the kennels you will be able to collect it. You will have to pay a release fee which will vary depending upon how long your dog has been at the kennels.
How to prevent dogs straying
- Responsible dog owners: Dogs should always be walked and exercised with a responsible dog owner present. Never allow your dog to wander/roam loose or exercise on its own - it is an offense to do so. We regularly encourage and promote responsible dog ownership.
- Microchipping: Legally, all dogs must be microchipped by the time they are eight weeks old and contact details kept up-to-date on an approved database. This will help your dog to be returned to its rightful owner quickly. Find out more information on our dog microchipping page.
- Collar and identification tag: Legally, all dogs must wear a collar and identification tag with contact details. This will help dogs to be identified.