Found a lost dog

We have practical advice on what to do if you find a lost or stray dog. Remember the dog may not be a stray at all but a dog that has wandered away from their owner.

How to help a stray dog

As a charity with limited resources, we can't respond to calls about healthy stray dogs.

Follow these steps instead to help reunite the dog with their owner

  1. Check to see if the dog is wearing a collar or tag with the contact details of the owner. Only approach if calm. 
  2. Stay clear if the dog’s displaying aggressive behaviour and contact the local dog warden.
  3. Report the stray dog to the council. All local authorities provide a dog warden service.
  4. Contact the local vet to scan for a microchip as by law all dogs should be microchipped.
  5. Contact local animal rescue centres and report the found dog.
  6. Report the found dog on Animal Search UK, exclusively used by our inspectors.
  7. Use social media to check local groups and announce that you’ve found a dog. Spread the word locally.

Rehoming stray dogs

You may decide to take the dog home while you wait for the warden to arrive - a lost dog may be scared and distressed.

Remember it’s illegal to keep a stray dog but if you want to rehome the dog, leave your details with the warden.

Found an injured or stray dog

If you believe a dog is sick, injured please contact your local vet or animal centre.

If the dog is in imminent danger or in a dangerous location contact emergency services. Never put yourself in danger.

More advice