What to do if you have found a pet

What to do if you find a stray dog


  • You must contact the local authority in the area in which the dog was found to enable a record to be made. You must then return the dog to its owner (where the owner is known) or hand the dog over to the local authority. If you fail to comply with this procedure you may be prosecuted for theft of the animal you found.
  • Even if you have found a dog and want to keep hold of it, you must still follow the procedure for the above question as the Dog Warden may know the person who has lost the dog.


Additionally, you can also:

  • Check the collar for a tag or other form of visual identification.
  • Take the dog to the nearest veterinary practice to have the MicroChip scanned.
  • Contact a local rescue organisation such as RSPCA, SSPCA or other dog related rescue.
  • Also check with neighbours, as it is very possible that the pet is missing from them - particularly if someone has moved to the area recently and the pet is in unfamiliar surroundings.


What to do if you find a stray cat or other animal

  • If the pet has a collar tag with contact details, try contacting them via those details as this is often the quickest and easiest method.
  • Also check with neighbours, as it is very possible that the pet is missing from them - particularly if someone has moved to the area recently and the pet is in unfamiliar surroundings.
  • Get in touch with any local vet practices as the owner may have reported the pet as missing - they will also be able to scan the pet for a pet microchip
  • Contact rescue organisations such as RSPCA, SSPCA, Cats Protection and local rescues