Animals on the road
In the situation that you find an uninjured or injured animal on the road, what to do will vary depending on certain factors. The actions you'll need to take will vary depending on the specific situation, whether the animal in questions is healthy, injured or dead, what species have been found as well as where the animal has been found. Read on for more information and to find out how best you can help.
If you've found a healthy animal on the road
A healthy animal on any road has the potential to become a serious welfare concern if not dealt with quickly and efficiently. Because the situation can quickly become risky to both the animal itself and road users, ALL healthy animals on ALL roads are the responsibility of the police, Traffic Wales or Highways England. If any of these organisations require our assistance to capture or transport a healthy animal they are dealing with, they will contact us directly and so there's no need to reach out to us personally.
Animal found on a motorway
If there's a healthy animal on a motorway or major 'A' road in England or Wales, please call the Highways Agency (for England) on 0300 123 5000 or Traffic Wales on 0845 602 6020 so that arrangements can be made for the animal to be removed.
Animal found on a minor road
Any healthy stray animals found on minor roads in England and Wales should be reported to the police so that they can decide on the actions necessary to ensure the safety of road users and the animal.
If you've found an injured animal on the road
We can only attend to an animal that is highly likely to be at the scene once we arrive.
If there is an injured domestic animal on the road and he/she is still mobile and in and out of traffic, please contact the local police on 101.
If the animal is badly injured, please call our 24-hour cruelty line on 0300 1234 999.
If you've found a dead animal on the road
If there are no suspicious circumstances and the animal is found on a motorway or major 'A' road in England or Wales, please call the Highways Agency (for England) on 0300 123 5000 or Traffic Wales on 0845 602 6020 so that arrangements can be made for the animal to be safely removed.
For any minor or side roads, the local councils are obliged to pick up dead animals but please note this does not include private or residential property.
If you've found a stray dog on the road
In the case of a stray dog, you must contact the Local Authority Dog Wardens. We're not able to help with healthy stray dogs however the Local Authority is legally responsible for all stray dogs.
If you've found a crash-landed swan
If you find a swan on a road, whether they appear healthy or injured, please contact your local police first using 101 to inform them of the situation. Because the situation can quickly become dangerous for both the animal and road users, healthy animals on roads are the responsibility of the police, Traffic Wales or Highways England.
However, if you have seen a swan crash land on or near a road, please also call us on 0300 1234 999. Don't try to rescue, handle or transport the swan yourself, as they can be aggressive to people when stressed or injured.
From the air, swans can mistake roads, particularly when wet, for a stretch of water. These large birds may be injured if they have crash-landed on the road or collided with power lines. Even an uninjured swan may need access to a large area of water, such as a lake, to be able to take off again. Please let us know all details relating to the incident when you call.
Find out more about injured wild animals
Read our advice on what to do if you find an animal that is injured.