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Non-Emergency Enquiries: 101

Stray Dogs

If you find a stray dog and can't contact the owner, you must report it to the council and not the police.

Reports of stray dogs must to be logged with your local council and not the police. Please see the local authorities page for contact details.

You can also report lost or found animals on the below websites:

Keeping a Stray Dog

You can keep a stray dog in your home while you try to contact the owner or your local council.

You might be able to adopt the dog if its original owner isn't traced or they don't claim the dog within 7 days. You will need to tell your council if you want to adopt the dog - they'll probably check if you're suitable as a dog owner before you can adopt it.

Even if you adopt the dog, the legal ownership of the dog is never transferred to you. This means that the original owner could claim their dog back at any time, even if you've had the dog for several months or years.

It is now law that all dog owners are required to microchip their dogs.

Q: I have found a dog, what do I do?

A: You should contact your local authority and ask to speak with the local dog warden. The dog warden has a responsibility to collect all stray dogs that are found in a public place.

The police and RSPCA will not go out and collect stray dogs. Please do not take stray dogs to a police station as we do not have the facilities to deal with this. Please contact your local authority.

Q: I have lost my dog, what do I do?

A: Most dogs do return of their own free will and if not most are reunited with their owners after a short space of time. The local dog warden retains reports of lost and found dogs.

If your dog has not already been micro-chipped it might be something to consider. It is now law that all dog owners are required to microchip their dogs.

Q: My pet has been attacked by a dog can the police do anything?

A: It depends on the circumstances, but there have been decisions made in the past, by the courts and authorities, to suggest that it is the nature of a dog to kill and wound small animals. Therefore, in the event of your pet being wounded or killed by a dog, it is not a certainty that the police would take any action. However, Staffordshire Police will take action if the dog was dangerously out of control or any harm was caused to a person. Another possible recourse is to take civil action against the dog owner, but again this would depend on the circumstances.

Q: What should I do? - There's a dog in a vehicle that appears hot and distressed

A: This depends on the level of distress caused to the dog.

It is not advisable to force entry to the vehicle yourself in the first instance. Your first step should be to call Staffordshire Police on 101 or 999 in an emergency.

Q: What type of dogs are illegal to own?

A: Under the Dangerous Dogs Act it is illegal to own certain breeds of dog. These include: Pit Bull Terrier, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino and Fila Braziliero type dogs.

It is also against the law to sell, abandon, give away or breed from a banned dog.

Any person that owns a dog that is trained/bred to be aggressive or used as a weapon to intimidate people can face a high prison sentence.

If it's alleged that a dog is of a type which is prohibited, it is presumed to be the case until the owner can prove otherwise. This would be done at their own expense.

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