Lost, found and stray dogs
If you’ve lost your dog, or found a lost dog, follow our advice to help reunite pets with their owners.
Top tips to help find your lost dog:
- Your dog’s microchip - phone the database they’re registered with and report them as missing.
- Contact your local dog warden.
- Notify your local vets, animal hospitals and rehoming centres.
- Register your dog on missing pet websites. We refer the public to Pets Located, exclusively used by our inspectors, but you can find other similar websites through search engines.
Stray dogs and found dogs
Unfortunately, we don’t have enough resources to pick up healthy strays. However, if you’ve found a sick or injured stray, please report them to us.
Your local authority must provide a dog warden service. Find more information on your local council’s website.
If you’ve found a healthy looking dog:
- Ring local vets and rescue centres.
- If it’s safe, check whether the dog is wearing a tag, call the number and leave a message.
- Ask local vets to scan them for a microchip.
- Create a found poster and place around the local area
- Check listings and add details on missing pet websites. We refer the public to Pets Located, exclusively used by our inspectors, but you can find other similar websites through search engines.
If you decide to take the dog home while you wait for the warden to arrive, please be aware that lost dogs may be scared and distressed - read our dog care advice and our behaviour guide to help keep the dog and your family happy and safe.
Don’t forget that a lost dog could be scared. If you’re unsure about their behaviour, please don’t approach and wait for the dog warden to arrive.
By law, you can’t keep a stray dog. If you want to rehome the dog, leave your details with the warden. Why not read our pet care advice if you’re considering pet adoption.
Keeping your dog safe
By law, your dog should wear a collar and tag with your name and contact details. This will help you find your dog if they go missing.
Although we already strongly recommend microchipping your dog, it will be required by law in England from April 2016. The same is expected in Wales from Spring 2016. The law will include keeping your details on the database up-to-date.