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Lost/Found A Dog - What To Do

It is vital that you know what to do and follow these steps to increase the chance of reuniting owner and dog.

This information is based on UK system for lost and stray dogs and may not apply to other countries.

I've Lost My Dog!

  • Phone the microchip company - if your dog is chipped immediately phone the company and inform them so it is logged as lost.
  • Ring your local authority - they will inform the dog warden, take your details and give you information of whom to contact if needed. This will differ between councils. Ring every day to check.
  • Make sure someone stays at home! If your dog is found and your address or home phone number is accessed then someone may try to phone you or return the dog. Also it is possible that your dog will return home on its own.
  • Log it ontolost dog websites, such as Lost Your Pet & regularly search through "found dog" pages- enter full details and the dog will appear as missing for people to see. Some people register for email alerts from Animal Search about pets missing in their area.
  • Phone you local vet - they will keep an eye out and offer any furtheradvice. Often people will hand a stray dog into the vets instead of contacting the dog warden.
  • If someone is available to stay at home then walk around and search for your dog near where you last saw it. Ask passers by and other dog walkers. Be mindful of weather and safety.
  • If you have a genuine reason to believe that your dog has been stolen then phone the police on 101 and report it.

I've Found A Stray Dog!

  • Phone your local authority for the dog warden! -Very Important- the council stray dog system ensures that owners have the best chance of being reunited with their dog, therefore if the council is not informed then the owner may never be found. Also the council are responsible for stray dogs and the legal ownership of a stray passes to them only after it has been held, unclaimed, for a period of time (this may differ per authority). This allows the dog to legally be rehomed if it has been abandoned.
  • Take to your local vets - Only if the dog warden cannot come immediately. The vets will scan it for a microchip & contact owners. They may also be able to hold the dog until the dog warden or owner collects it.
  • Log it onto lost dog websites such as Lost Your Dog- people that have lost a dog may check through or someone that knows the owner may see the entry.
  • Take note of where & when you found it.

Advice For Dog Owners

  • Microchip your dog! - it costs around 15 and gives you the best chance of being reunited with your dog, often for free of charge. Microchips also help to stop dog theft.
  • Collar & tag - in the UK it is law that your dog should wear a collar and ID tag in a public place. Plus you will be contacted immediately if someone finds your dog.
  • Keep details up to date - Make sure your contact details on your dogs ID are up to date! Address & phone numbers
  • Use your mobile number - Enter your mobile number on ID tags and chip details so that you will not miss that important call. Make sure you have a voicemail system in case you cannot answer.

  • Find your local authority details here: http://local.direct.gov.uk/LDGRedirect/index.jsp?mode=1.1

    My name is Ruth Turner, currently I am one of two Dog Wardens for Cheshire West and Chester Council. I have worked with dogs for a number of years, starting in kennels and kennel management positions while obtaining a BSc (Hons) degree in Animal Management. Dog Wardens take sole responsibility for lost and stray dogs, as well as dealing with complaints about dog fouling, dog barking, and nuisance behaviours. We help to enforce The Dogs (Fouling of Land) Act 1996, and assist with the Noise Act 1996, Environmental Protection Act 1990, Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005, Dog Control Order Regulations 2006 and Animal Welfare Act 2006. Dog Wardens provide advice and education to members of the public, including schools and education institutes. We inform people of the dogs laws covering dogs and promote responsible ownership.