Stray and Lost Dogs

A stray dog is a dog that is in a public place or a place it should not be without its owner. Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 section 149, North Hertfordshire District Council has a duty to deal with stray dogs. The police are not responsible for stray dogs, but they do have responsibility for dangerous dogs which could be defined as a dog attacking another dog or other animal, or person.

What to do if you find a stray dog

We will collect stray dogs that are confined and under your direct control and care.

To arrange a collection:

  • Call the Customer Service Centre on 01462 474000 during normal office hours (Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm)
  • During weekends, bank holidays and out of hours, call 03444 828 346 (standard rate and mobile friendly number)

Collected stray dogs will be kennelled for seven clear days and if unclaimed will then be re-homed.

The Council operates a non-destruct policy and unclaimed dogs are only ever put to sleep if they have unacceptable aggressive behaviour or on veterinary advice are not suitable for re-homing.

How to get your dog back

If we have your dog you can reclaim it by calling 03444 828300 during office hours.

You will need to provide proof of residential address (e.g. utility bill) and ownership (e.g. kennel club registration, family pet photo, vet bill).  You will also be asked to pay a charge for the collection and kennelling of your dog as set out below.

  • £25 Central Government fine for a dog straying
  • £27 Administration
  • £13 Kennelling fees charged per calendar

Fees due are normally collected securely by debit or credit card.

If your dog has strayed and been involved in an accident or has been found to require urgent veterinary attention, it may be taken to a vet. If this is the case, you will also be liable for the payment of the vet fees.

Preventing your dog from straying is the owner's responsibility. Remember it is a legal requirement that your dog wears a collar and tag bearing your name and address when in a public place. The penalty for non compliance is a fine up to £2000.

The law requires all dogs in England to be micro-chipped, this will ensure that your contact details can be easily traced should your pet ever be lost or stolen.

From 1 July 2017 we are proposing that owners who collect dogs that have not been microchipped or have incorrect microchip details be charged as set out below:

  • £85 plus £13 for each day the dog is in the kennel; or
  • £81 including free microchipping if the owner agrees, plus £13 for each day the dog is in the kennel (this will not be available to dogs that have a microchip with incorrect details)

Lost Dogs

If you think your dog may have been collected by the Dog Warden service, visit www.lostdogsuk.co.uk - this website has details of found dogs (click the North Hertfordshire tab in the bottom right hand corner) and useful links to other websites dedicated to lost and stolen dogs. We are no longer able to accept lost dog reports.

Details of dogs collected by the Council dog warden service are uploaded within 24 hours and if you do not have access to the internet between 9am and 5pm you can call the Customer Service Centre on 01462 474000 who will be able to check the website for you.

Lost Cats

If you have lost a cat please contact the Herts East Branch of the RSPCA by calling 01462 672278 or 01462 484862.