Dog Warden Service across Dorset Councils Partnership
Report a lost or stray dog
You will need to register on our online portal to report a lost or stray dog to us.
When claiming your dog
There will be a payment required prior to collection. You may pay by card by contacting the council offices during office hours, or through our Dog Wardens (some of whom carry card payment units). Your receipt number will enable you to collect your dog. A cheque or cash is acceptable on agreement at the kennels.
You should note:
- dogs which remain unclaimed will, after seven full days have elapsed, become the legal property of the council and will then be rehomed, if appropriate
- the council's policy is that dogs will only be released following payment of ALL fees and charges
- veterinary treatment will be provided at the discretion of the council, but is generally restricted to primary care and the alleviation of suffering; owners will be invoiced separately
Do you have a stray dog in your care?
If you have a stray dog in your care please contact us directly on 01258 454111 (North Dorset), 01305 251010 (West Dorset), or 01305 838000 (Weymouth & Portland). Our service operates from 08:00 - 21:30 daily (except Christmas Day and New Year's Day).
If you have caught the dog and it is outside of these hours, it is your responsibility to keep the dog safe and contained until we can come and collect it. We have to operate to these hours due to kennel opening times. Please keep the dog in a secure garden, out-building or within your home with access to water until the dog warden arrives.
Stray dogs that are not contained
We are not able to 'catch' stray dogs that have been seen in open countryside or on public land, we can only assist if you have the dog contained and under control on a lead or rope. We would however still encourage you to report any sightings of a stray dog using our online form as it could prove useful if the owner has been in contact.
Report an incident of dog fouling
You can report dog fouling to the council by completing a short online form.
Dogs that attack people, livestock or assistance dogs 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, however, there are various legislative options available to us.
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.
Report a dangerous dog
Register on our online portal to report a dog on dog attack to our Dog Warden Service.
What a responsible dog owner can do
Your dog can be a faithful friend and effective security guard. If your dog does not always live up to its reputation it's not always the dog's fault. We have put together a Dog Owners Guide to help you ensure that your dog is 'man's best friend', with tips and helpful reminders.
Under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 you are responsible for your dog to ensure they get the best out of life. They should be given a suitable environment, a suitable diet, be able to exhibit normal behaviour patterns, be able to socialise with their own breed and be protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease in relation to the size, breed and age. The RSPCA can give you additional guidance.
Bringing a puppy into your home?
If you are considering bringing a dog into your home as a companion you may wish to have advice on how to obtain a puppy whether this is from one of the numerous registered charitable organisations which have dogs to rehome such as the Dog’s Trust or the Margaret Green Foundation; or a licensed Pet Shop, licensed breeder or a domestic breeder. You may obtain further information from our Dog Wardens or follow simple guidance given on the RSPCA website. If you are miss-sold any dog or feel that the circumstances of obtaining your dog is not right please contact us. We can direct you to the most appropriate agency to investigate the issue, this is may be Trading Standards. The likelihood is if it doesn’t feel right it might not be. If the premises is licensed it is subject to inspection AND must comply with certain conditions (stipulated in legislation), these protect the public and more importantly the dogs in their care. Don’t buy an animal on sympathy, this perpetuates puppy farms, and does not prevent or control them.
Neutering and spaying
Neutering and spaying is not just about controlling pet numbers, it can also give your dog many other benefits.
Every year thousands of stray and unwanted dogs are collected by councils and rescue centres across the country. Neutering and spaying helps to prevent unwanted litters of puppies and can help reduce the numbers of unwanted dogs.
Neutering and spaying also has many health benefits for both male and female dogs. It can help reduce certain types of cancers and infections which are common in non-neutered dogs. With female dogs, spaying stops them coming into season and reduces stress and prevents mess in the house and also stops unwanted attention from male dogs. With males, it can also help to prevent roaming and helps to reduce the urge to fight.
For more information or advice on neutering and spaying, please contact your local vet.