When a lost or stray dog is picked up by the dog warden, all reasonable steps are taken to contact the dog owner.
If the owner cannot be found, the dog is kept for 7 days. After 7 days, the dog is transferred to a suitable rehoming centre.
There is a £185 fee (which includes a statutory fee of £25) for stray dogs that are picked up and taken to kennels. Stray dogs are cared for in kennels and there are charges for this. The dog will not be returned to its owner until the fees are paid.
Report a stray dog
To report a stray dog, call the Animal Welfare Officer. The officer will only attend if the dog has been contained, for example, in a location where it cannot escape or held on a lead.
If your dog is lost
If your dog is lost, call the Animal Welfare Officer. We also suggest registering your dog as missing on Dog Lost, and informing your chip provider who will record this on the chip record.
A register is kept of all stray and lost dogs picked up or reported.
You can contact the Animal Welfare Officer on 0333 335 5347 during the following times:
- Monday to Friday, from 8am to 10pm (last call out 9 pm)
- Saturday, Sunday and bank holidays, from 8am to 6pm (last call out 5pm)
Outside of opening times
Take the dog to a vet or rehoming centre where they can check the dog's chip and try to contact the owner. If you can, keep the dog safe. Call 0333 335 5347 and leave a message giving your details and the location of the dog. An Animal Welfare Officer will arrange to collect the dog during the above times.
This service is provided by Islington Council.
XL Bully dogs - update
Amendment to the Dangerous Dogs Act
From 31 December 2023 it will be unlawful to breed, sell, gift or allow such a dog to stray. These dogs will also be required to be kept on a lead and muzzled when outside.
From 1 February 2024 it will be a criminal offence to be in possession of an XL Bully dog unless the dog has been certified as exempt on the Index of Exempted dogs.
The Index is maintained by the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and may be accessed by the police. The burden is on the owner to prove a dog is not a prohibited dog.
There is a standard published for the breed - visit GOV.UK - Official definition of an XL Bully dog.
Timeline of actions:
- From 31 December 2023, owners must keep XL bully dogs on a lead and muzzled when in public. It will also be an offence to breed, sell, advertise, exchange, gift, rehome, abandon, or allow XL Bully dogs to stray.
- From 31 January 2024, it will be illegal to own or possess an XL Bully unless it is registered on the Index of Exempted dogs and is compliant with the requirements
- If the dog is older than one year old on 31 January 2024, it must be neutered by 30 June 2024
- If the dog is less than one year old on 31 January 2024, it must be neutered by 31 December 2024
To secure a certificate of exemption the dog must be:
- have a policy of third party insurance
Once a certificate of exemption has been obtained, the dog must always be kept on a lead and muzzled when in a public place.
The dog’s certificate of exemption can last throughout its lifetime. However, to keep the exemption in place, the owner must fulfil all ongoing requirements as stated by the Dangerous Dogs Exemption Schemes (England and Wales) Order 2015:
- Keep the dog at the same address as the owner of the certificate
- Inform Defra or the Index of Exempted dogs of any change of address
- Inform those relevant authorities if the dog is exported or dies
- Ensure that the required third-party insurance is renewed each year
- House the dog in a secured area so it cannot escape
- Provide proof of insurance when required
- Allow access to the dog for microchip reading
- Show the dog’s certificate of exemption when required to do so by a police officer or local authority officer
The government will pay a contribution towards the costs associated with euthanasia that takes place before 31 January 2024. This contribution will be a total of £200 per dog. Owners and their vet will need to complete a form in order to make a claim.