Skip Navigation

What can we do for you?

The West Dorset Dog Warden Service provides a range of services.

Microchipping your dog

In accordance with the Control of Dogs Order 1992, your dog must wear a collar and tag stating your name and address when in a public place. Ideally if you have a mobile number this should also go on the tag. 

New law states that your dog must also be implanted with a microchip that has your up to date contact details.  Dog Wardens carry out regular patrols to scan dogs to see if they are microchipped.  The penalty for not having a microchip with correct details is a maximum fine of £500, and is a criminal offence.

Dogs under eight weeks old are exempt from the microchipping law, and, if you are buying a puppy, the breeder should have already microchipped the dog, and the microchip should bear their details.  Dogs can also be made exempt through a certificate issued by a registered vet where the procedure would harm the dog.

If your pet goes missing and is microchipped, the network of scanners held by the police, dog wardens, vets and the RSPCA can identify your pet's unique chip number and help to quickly re-unite you with your dog.

We can microchip your dog for a small charge. Please contact us if you would like to arrange this.

Even if your dog is microchipped, it must wear a collar and tag in a public place to be legal.

Lost dogs

If you have lost your dog please contact us. We may have already picked your dog up or it may be held locally by the finder. This service is available 24 hours a day and information will be passed to the Dog Warden when they are next on duty. Reuniting the dog with it's owner is one of our priorities.

Finding a dog

If you find a dog, contact us. If there is a tag on the dog's collar, you may find contact details which you can use to contact the owner. Alternatively, if you live close to a vet they will scan the dog which may have a microchip with more details of the owner although, they may not be able to hold onto the dog on your behalf. Our dog warden will try to pick the animal up from you as quickly as possible. There is a legal obligation to inform this service that you are holding a dog and you are responsible for its welfare until the dog warden can collect it from you. Our collection service for strays is available from 08:00-21:30 daily, except on Christmas Day, however, details of found dogs can be taken 24 hours a day.

Reporting dog barking

All dogs bark. However, if a dog is left alone for long periods of time, or is bored, its bark can cause annoyance and distress to neighbours. If you are that neighbour, the first thing you should do is talk with the owner, who may not be aware that the dog barking is causing a problem.

After dog barking has been reported, noise record sheets will be sent out. These sheets are needed to determine how often and how long the dog barks. If the records show that the barking is possibly a nuisance based on the frequency and duration of the barking, further investigations will be carried out. The dog owner will be given the opportunity to respond to allegations. Details of all complainants will be kept confidential. The District Council does not accept anonymous complaints as the nature and extent of the problem needs to be established.

In extreme cases legal action can be taken against the owner of the dogs if they are unwilling to address the problem. This can result in a fine or conviction of up to £5,000 per offence.

Noise complaints made about your dog

If a complaint has been made about your dog the district council will contact you directly about the problem either by a visit or in writing. The Council want to know your side of the story. The general advice is to ensure that your dog is not bored. Toys, a low volume radio/TV, shelter in hot or bad weather, enough food and water and regular exercise throughout the day, will reduce barking depending on the breed and age of the dog. If the problem continues, the council may serve an abatement notice. This means you must do things to ensure that the dog does not cause nuisance to others. You may wish to seek veterinary advice should barking persist.

Report a dog fouling complaint

If you see someone in your neighbourhood regularly allowing their dog to foul and are not clearing up, please report the dog fouling to us and where possible, provide the offender's address. This will enable us to write to them and warn them of the consequences of not clearing up, should the circumstances allow we may be able to issue a fixed penalty notice based on the evidence you have seen. If you believe that an area is particularly bad please let us know. The Dog Warden Service will increase it's patrols to assess the situation, meet owners and if it is required, increase signage in the area. Anyone found not clearing up after their dog is likely to receive a fixed penalty notice.

Out of control/dangerous dogs and dog attacks

Dogs that attack people must be reported to the Police. They are the investigating body for these incidents. A dog on dog attack will be dealt with by the Dog Warden Service who will mediate between parties. Most minor cases are dealt with by means of an advice letter to the offending party. Where a dog is dangerously out of control in a public place, we may be able to take action to deal with the incident to prevent it happening again. This is not possible where the name and address of the dog owners involved are not supplied.

In moderate and persistent cases, new legislation allows the Dog Warden Service to place reasonable restrictions on aggressive dogs. These restrictions may stipulate certain conditions with regard to handling and containing the dog. If these are not complied with and attacks continue there is a possibility for the dog to be considered dangerously out of control and as such may lead to a hearing in a Magistrates Court. The Court may decide to formalise any restrictions, or may even consider the destruction of the dog as a last resort.

The Dog Warden Service also reserves the option to produce evidence of dog attacks in Court, with the aim of allowing Magistrates to decide on legally binding restrictions to be imposed, however, this is only used in the most serious of cases.

For more information about microchipping, lost dogs, finding a dog, reporting dog barking, noise complaints, reporting dog fouling, out of control/dangerous dogs and dog attacks please contact us.

Powered by GOSS iCM