Chelmsford City Council

Report a found dog

If you find a dog, you must return the dog to its owner if you know who it is.

If you don’t know who the owner is, you must phone us to report the dog.

We keep a register of all stray dogs, and may be able to reunite the dog with its owner.

If you find the dog during office hours and secure it, we can come and collect it from you.

We will not collect dogs that are running loose, unless they are causing a danger on the roads. We will also not collect dogs that someone seems to have tied up and left. You can report tied up dogs to the  RSPCA.

If you find the dog out of office hours, you will need to arrange to drop the dog off at the Civic Centre.

To report a stray dog, you will need:

  • your name and contact details
  • where you found the dog
  • the type of dog
  • the colour of the dog
  • whether the dog is male or female
  • whether the dog has a collar or tag
  • any distinguishing features

Out of hours

If you are calling:

  • Monday to Friday between 4:45pm and 11pm
  • Saturday or Sunday between 9am and 11pm

you need to use our out of hours phone number to report a found dog.


Request to keep the dog

If you find a dog, you can request to keep it.

You cannot keep the dog if it has a microchip.

If you want to keep the dog, we will:

  • keep your details and the dog’s details on our register
  • visit your home and check the welfare of the dog
  • confirm that the dog doesn’t have a microchip
  • check that your home is suitable for the dog
  • confirm that you will keep the dog for a least 28 days

If you do not keep the dog for 28 days, it is a criminal offence with a maximum penalty of a £500 fine.

If the owner claims the dog within 28 days, you must return it to them.

After 28 days, you:

  • can keep the dog

  • rehome the dog if you no longer want to keep it

The owner may still be able to claim the dog after 28 days, but this will be a civil dispute over ownership.

If you decide to keep the dog, we accept no responsibility for vet fees, injuries or damage to property the dog causes.

    Contact the Dog Wardens

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    01245 606606
    Ask for 'Dog wardens'. Also available out of hours

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    01245 606511
    Out of hours

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