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Dog warden service


The majority of animal welfare issues handled by Dorset councils relate to dogs, including dog fouling, stray and dangerous dogs. You can report animal fouling and stray dogs in Dorset online.

Stray dogs in Dorset

Stray dogs - what the council can do

Please refer to individual councils for their stray dog services. See:

Stray dogs that are picked up by dog wardens are taken to licensed holding kennels awaiting collection by their owners.

The owner is required to pay a statutory and administration fee as well as any costs incurred for the boarding of the animal before the dog can be released back.

Please note that when your dog is found if it does not wear a collar and tag an additional fine may be charged as the law states that a dog must wear a collar and tag when in a public place with the owners name, address and contact details.

We would always support the additional use of an identity microchip, however please ensure your contact information is kept up to date with the database that you use.

Dog fouling

Report an incident of dog fouling in Dorset online

If you spot an incident of dog fouling in Dorset you can report it to your local council with a short online form.

Dog fouling - what the council can do

Dorset councils have designated areas where owners must clean up after their dog.  Most public places are included.

The law enables orders to be made regarding cleaning up after a dog, the designation of dog exclusion zones, the designation of 'dogs on leads' areas and the control of a fixed number of dogs to be taken out for walks at anyone time.  A fixed penalty ticket or prosecution in the Magistrates Court may await anyone who is seen to break these orders.

All the areas associated with the orders are suitably signed or you may obtain copies of the order by contacting the relevant district authority. Additionally some parish and town councils have local byelaws with regard to dog control - again, look out for the signs.

Dangerous dogs in Dorset

The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 and the Dogs Act 1871 make it an offence to allow a dog to be dangerously out of control.  There have also been additional changes brought in by the Antisocial Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014 making it an offence for an assistance dog to be attacked by another dog.

This does not require proof of injury and in many instances it is sufficient cause for concern if someone feels threatened by the actions of a dog.

Dog on human attacks or where the individual is placed in fearful circumstances are investigated by the Police.  Similarly if a dog attacks livestock this is a Police matter.

Dog on dog matters or on domesticated animals is with the individual dog services.  Please note that not all dog warden services undertake this work as much of the response is under civil legislation.


  • Dog on Beach Stray dogs out of hours service

    Out of hours contact details for dog wardens in Dorset. Please contact the dog warden that serves the area of Dorset that you live in.

  • istock - dog lying down Dog warden service in Christchurch and East Dorset

    Christchurch and East Dorset councils have an Animal Welfare Officer and a Dog Warden dealing with stray dogs, dog fouling and dangerous dogs.

  • North Dorset District Council Dog warden service in North Dorset

    North Dorset District Council provides a dog warden service. Dog fouling and stray dogs can be reported to North Dorset District Council.

  • Dog on Beach 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.

  • West Dorset District Council Dog warden service in West Dorset

    The West Dorset Dog Warden gives advice, educates and may take formal action, including the service of fixed penalty notices and prosecution in appropriate cases. Dog fouling, stray and lost dogs can be reported in West Dorset online.

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