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Responsible dog ownership in Purbeck

Purbeck employ an Environmental Enforcement Officer who is responsible for handling and kennelling stray dogs, promoting responsible ownership and enforcing by-laws. Dog fouling, stray and lost dogs can be reported to Purbeck District Council online.

Purbeck's Environmental Enforcement Officer has many roles

These include:

  • handling and kennelling stray dogs

  • promoting responsible attitudes to dog ownership

  • enforcement of local bye-laws and national dog legislation

Stray dogs in Purbeck

Any dog straying is likely to be picked up by the Environmental Enforcement Officer. A dog owner has seven days to claim their dog back and pay, in full, a fixed fee which includes the kennelling, vaccination and administration fees. Please note all dogs taken to kennels will routinely be vaccinated for Parvovirus.

Dogs not claimed within seven days will be put up for re-homing. It is also an offence under the Control of Dogs Order 1992 (opens in a new window) for a dog to be in a public place without wearing a collar with the name and address of its owner inscribed on it or with a disc attached to it.

The maximum fine for this offence is £2,000. We will collect stray dogs during normal office hours, please call 01929 556561.

Stray dogs out of normal office hours, at weekends and bank holidays

The Council has two reception centres for dogs found straying out of hours. If you have found a dog out of normal office hours at weekends or bank holidays and cannot hold onto it or leave it with a neighbour until the next working day please call 01929 556561. You will be put through to our out of hours call centre who will give you details of where to take the dog.

Stray Dog Procedure (pdf, 207kb) (opens in a new window)

Report a stray dog in Purbeck online

We are currently upgrading our reporting tool and are unable to accept complaints reported online at this time. If you would like to make a complaint please contact us, we apologise for any inconvenience this causes.

Lost dogs in Purbeck

Purbeck District Council holds a register of all dogs seized or reported lost so if you have lost your dog please call us.

Local Police stations will also hold details of stray dogs reported to them.

Report a lost dog in Purbeck online

We are currently upgrading our reporting tool and are unable to accept complaints reported online at this time. If you would like to make a complaint please contact us, we apologise for any inconvenience this causes.

Dog fouling in Purbeck

There are a number of areas within in the district where it is an offence to let your dog foul and not remove it. Areas include parts of Lytchett Matravers, Studland, Middle Halves, and Upton recreation field, West Halves Sports Field and Swanage beach.

If you have any doubt whether or not you have a legal duty to clear up after your dog then please contact us. Irrespective of whether an area of land is covered by a bye-law, any dog owner still has a moral duty to ensure that their dog's faeces does not cause a problem to any other person. In areas where the Dog Fouling Order does not apply you may still be asked to 'bag it and bin it'  - find out more about the 'doggy do code' (opens in a new window)

Dog Fouling and the Dog Order 2003 (pdf, 66kb) (opens in a new window)

Report an incident of dog fouling in Purbeck online

You can report an incident of dog fouling in Purbeck by completing a short online form.

Dangerous dogs

Serious incidents involving dogs and owners who commit criminal offences will be investigated by the police, this would include where someone was bitten or in fear of being bitten, both offences under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1989 (opens in a new window). The Environmental Enforcement Officer will investigate minor incidents which do not involve legal action where the matter can be resolved informally.

Procedure for Dangerous Dog Incidents (pdf, 292kb) (opens in a new window)

The Environmental Enforcement Officer service can be accessed by calling 01929 556561 or by email to

Why you should be a responsible dog owner

  • dogs not kept under proper control can cause road traffic accidents, attack other dogs, pets and even people

  • dog faeces are thoroughly unpleasant and can carry diseases such as toxocariasis which has been known to cause blindness, especially in young children

How you can be a responsible dog owner

  • ensure that your dog wears a collar and identity tag at all times

  • ensure that your house and garden is secure so that your dog cannot just ´wander off´

  • keep your dog on a lead at all appropriate times

  • clear up after your dog and dispose of the mess appropriately

Micro chipping dogs

All dogs picked up by the council as strays are scanned for a microchip to try and re-unite the dog with its owner.  All dog owners are required by law to have their dogs micro-chipped.  Failure to comply could result in the issue of a Fixed Penalty Notice.

Freedom of Information/Environmental Information Regulations requests

We occasionally receive requests under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 or the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 about dogs, including stray dogs and dog fouling.  Before submitting an information request, please check our statistics (pdf, 212kb) (opens in a new window) as it may contain the information you are looking for.

If you cannot find the information here that you require and decide that you wish to make an information request, please note that some information about dogs is classed as environmental information.  Environmental information is not within the scope of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and requests for environmental information are dealt with under the Environmental Regulation Information Regulation 2004. 

charge may be payable for environmental information.


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