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Stray dogs in Torridge

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If you have found a stray dog between 9.00am and 4.00pm, please either contact the owner, if details are available, or contact the Environmental Protection team on 01237 428700.  If an officer is available, we will arrange to collect it from you.  If an officer is not available, you will be required to hold onto the dog until collection can be arranged. The Council does not provide a collection or delivery service during evenings orweekends and finders will need to hold onto the dog until collection can be arranged the next working day. Alternatively, you can use social media, such as Facebook, which can be a useful tool for reuniting a dog with its owner; it is helpful to provide a photo and description of where the dog was found.


If you have lost your dog, please contact Environmental Protection on 01237 428700 during office hours to establish whether the dog has been collected.  If you are ringing outside normal office hours, please contact the Council's Standby Officer on the same number, who will take details and pass to the Environmental Protection team the next working day. 

Unfortunately, the loss of a dog can become very expensive for its owner.  If a council officer is called to your stray dog we have a duty under the Environmental protection Act 1990 to seize and detain the dog and we will make reasonable attempts to reunite a dog with its owner. However, time and resources mean that only a limited time can be given to this. If we cannot quickly locate and contact an owner, we will take and detain the dog at kennels. If your dog is seized and detained, the charges will include:

  • A statutory government prescribed fee

  • A general administration fee

  • A daily kennelling fee plus an administration charge

  • Any fee for necessary veterinary treatment will also be reclaimed plus an administration charge

See our Fees & charges for current fees.

In line with the legislation a dog may not be reunited with its owner unless and until appropriate fees have been paid.  We have a duty to hold the dog/s for seven days, afterwhich time if a dog is not claimed, they will be passed to an animal charity for rehoming, or subject to other action as allowed under the legislation.


In April 2016, it became compulsory for every dog to have an up-to-date microchip.  Further information on microchipping can be found on our website here or online at GOV.UK website.

Even if your dog is microchipped, every dog while in a highway or public space must wear a collar with ID including the name and address of the owner as per the Control of Dogs Order 1992.  Contravention of the Order is an offence against the Animal Health Act 1981 which is punishable on summary conviction by a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale (currently unlimited).

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