Chip, Collar, and Tag

Report a stray or lost dog to us

Stray dogs

If you find a stray dog, please either:

  • return the dog to its owner or 
  • contact the local authority for the area in which the dog was found

During office hours you can contact the dog warden service by phoning 01271 388870.

If it is outside of office hours, and you cannot hold the dog until the office reopens, please contact our emergency out of hours service on 01271 388240.

It is an offence if you do not report a found dog.

Lost dogs

If you have lost your dog, please phone us during office hours on 01271 388870 or our emergency out of hours service on 01271 388240 to see if it has been picked up by our dog warden. We post pictures of lost dogs on our Facebook page, so it's worth checking there too.

North Devon Council has a duty to collect and detain stray dogs. The dog owner, once located, may be liable for fines, fees and charges. These include: 

  • statutory fine - £25
  • administration charge - £6 plus VAT
  • boarding (for each period of 24 hours or part there of) - £20
  • any required veterinary costs, for example if the dog is injured
  • other relevant fees


Dogs over eight weeks old must be microchipped and the details must be kept up to date. You can be fined up to £500 if your dog isn't microchipped. You can find lots of information about microchipping on the GOV.UK website.

Dogs in public places must also wear a collar and tag (Control of Dogs Order 1992), so that the owner can be found if it is lost or stray.

Watch our video to find out more.


Top tips for dog owners

  1. Make sure your dog is microchipped - record the number and database name somewhere safe
  2. Remember to update the database when your contact details change
  3. Ensure your dog wears a collar and tag in public - postcode and phone number, not the name of the dog
  4. Avoid leaving your dog tied up and unattended in public areas
  5. Avoid letting your dog out unaccompanied
  6. Ensure your garden and other areas are properly enclosed 
  7. Be aware of things that could 'spook' or scare your dog when off the lead
  8. Report your dog lost soon as you know
  9. Send us a photo and microchip number of your lost dog
  10. Consider posting the loss on social media 


Microchipping leaflet

Microchipping poster (A4)