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Guidelines for police dealing with an animal

Direct number for Police

RSPCA's National Control Centre
0300 123 8008
8am-8pm (for emergency services only)


Quick guide for police dealing with an animal

   How to deal with an animal diagram

When to remove an animal?

If you have been unable to make contact with the RSPCA then you will need to make the decision whether to remove the animal(s) or leave it in situ and this will depend on many factors:
  • Do you have the power to re-enter the property if the animal is left in situ?
  • Is the owner/person responsible likely to return- can you make contact with them or a family member?
  • Is the animal suffering or likely to deteriorate if left?
  • Can the animal be left with provisions such as food and water?
  • Will we lose evidence by leaving the animal?
  • If the welfare concern is the environment then can the animal be moved to a suitable location within the property?

Examples (section 9 - enviromental conditions)

Examples (section 4 - suffering)

Deceased animals - seize under 19 PACE bag, tag and take to cold storage

Health and safety

Always wear PPE when handling animals due to possible zoonotic disease transmission and also for protection from injury.

The RSPCA is not trained to deal with aggressive dogs and would seek help from the police DLO or kennels. If an owner can prove that an animal is under veterinary care then removal is not needed, you can always refer concerns to the RSPCA for follow-up.