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Dealing with issues related to dogs

There are over twenty pieces of legislation related to dogs and dog ownership in the UK. They cover issues such as:

  • Identification (microchipping and wearing a collar and tag)
  • Animal welfare
  • Making sure your dog doesn't cause a public nuisance (barking and fouling)
  • Keeping your dog under control
  • Breeding, buying and selling animals

If you're a dog owner

Read the Blue Cross guide to UK dog laws, to make sure you know your responsibilities, and what may happen if you break the law.

Report a dog-related problem

Use the guide below to find out how to report some of the most common dog-related issues. Select any topic for more detail, and who to contact. 

Report a lost or stray dog

Call Council Connect on 01225 477 551 and ask for our Dog Warden Service if you want to report:

  • a lost dog
  • a stray dog which you have caught and contained
Dog Warden Service opening times
Days Times
Monday to Thursday 8.30am to 5pm
Friday 8.30am to 4.30pm
Weekends Closed

As well as collecting stray dogs and reuniting them with their owners, the Dog Warden Service aims to do the following:

  • Support dog owners to recognise their responsibilities, and comply with the law
  • Protect the public from the results of irresponsible dog ownership, such as straying dogs 
  • Enforce legislation on microchipping, straying and dog fouling (which includes giving out fines)

Report an animal welfare issue

If you think that someone is neglecting an animal, or treating it cruelly, you can report this to the RSPCA. This includes:

You can also contact the Police for any of the issues above, or if a dog is involved in a road accident. If you hit a dog with your vehicle, you must inform the Police within 24 hours. 

Call on 101 to report longer-term animal welfare issues, or on 999 if it is an emergency. 

The Dog Warden Service doesn't deal with these issues of cruelty and neglect.

Report a dog behaving dangerously

Call the Police on 999 if you see a dog acting in any of these aggressive or dangerous ways:

  • you think the dog may attack a person or another dog
  • a guard dog is out of control
  • a dog is worrying or harming livestock on farmland

Report a barking dog

If the noise of a persistently barking dog is causing a nuisance, you can report this to our Environmental Protection team. 

Report a noise nuisance

If the dog is barking repeatedly over a long period, it may be neglected or distressed. You may also want to report this to the RSPCA.

Report dog fouling

If you see someone failing to pick up their dog's mess, you can report this to us online. Our Dog Warden may issue a fine to the owner. 

Report dog fouling

Report a dead animal

If you see a dead dog (or other large animal) on a road or in a public space, let us know. We can remove it, and assess if there is any danger to public health.

Report a dead animal

If the animal is in a location that might cause an accident or danger to people (such as in the middle of the road), please report this as an emergency.

Report a dog of a banned breed

It is against the law in the UK to own a dog of one of these breeds:

  • Pit bull terrier
  • Japanese tosa
  • Dogo Argentino
  • Fila Braziliero 

Read about new legislation adding the Bully XL to this list of banned breeds, and how to prepare for this.

If you think a dog is a banned breed, you can call the Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.