Stray dogs

If you find a stray dog, you must either:

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

Report a stray or lost dog to us

You can also contact the dog warden service and environmental health by phoning 01271 388870 or by going through our Customer Services during office hours. Outside of office hours we provide a reception centre for you to take strays to. Of course, if you are happy to keep the dog safe and well until the next working day, we will arrange collection then.

To use the out of hours reception centre, details must first be lodged with our emergency out of hours service (please see our Contact our services page). You should be prepared to leave your name, address and telephone number, the nature of your request and its urgency and give a full description of the dog and where and when it was found. You should also be prepared to wait whilst the reception centre is contacted and calls you back.

If you fail to report a dog you have found, you will have committed an offence and would be liable, upon conviction, to a fine.

If you request to keep the dog if it is not claimed, you must supply us with:

  • your contact details
  • details of the dog

Lost dog

If you have lost your dog, please contact us to see if it has been picked up by our dog warden.

North Devon Council has a duty to collect and detain stray dogs. These dogs will be taken to authorised kennels, where 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) - £14 (£20 out of hours)
  • any required veterinary costs, for example if the dog is injured
  • other relevant fees