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.

If you've lost your dog

  • Phone your dog's microchip database and report them missing.
  • Contact your local dog warden - find your local dog warden.
  • Notify your local vets - as well as nearby animal hospitals and rehoming centres.
  • Register your dog on missing pet websites - register on Animal Search UK, exclusively used by our inspectors, and you can also find other similar websites through search engines.

If you've found a dog

Unfortunately, we don't have enough resources to pick up healthy strays unless it's an emergency. 

Your local authority must provide a dog warden service, and you can find more information on your local council's website.

If you've found a healthy-looking dog:

  • Report the dog - report the stray dog to the council, and ring local vets and rescue centres.
  • If it's safe, check whether the dog is wearing a tag, and if it is then call the number on it and leave a message.
  • Ask local vets to scan the dog for a microchip.
  • Put up posters - create a found poster and place them around the local area.
  • Check listings and add details on missing pet websites - register the dog on Animal Search UK, exclusively used by our inspectors, and you can also find other similar websites through search engines.

If you decide to take the dog home while you wait for the warden to arrive, remember that a lost dog 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. If you're unsure about the dog's behaviour, please don't approach and wait for the dog warden to arrive.

Remember: by law, you can't keep a stray dog. If you want to rehome the dog, leave your details with the warden. If you're considering adopting a pet, why not have a read of our pet care advice?

Keeping your dog safe

It's every dog owner's worst nightmare, but there are things you can do to help find your dog if they go missing. By law, your dog should be microchipped. If you're out and about, make sure your dog wears a collar and tag with your name and contact details, so that you can easily be contacted if someone finds your dog.

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