What is a stray dog?
- A stray dog can simply be classed as a dog without an owner that is present or in control
- Most stray dogs are family pets that have escaped
- Some dogs may have been abandoned by their owners
- Dogs that have been let out to exercise themselves rather than being walked are also considered strays
Why do strays have to be collected and what are the problems they cause?
- A dog roaming on its own may cause a road traffic accident if it runs out into the road, which could result in serious injury to itself and/or motorists
- Stray dogs foul and there is no one to pick up after it
- Dog faeces can cause a serious infection in humans, particularly young children, called Toxocariasis. This infection is caused by Toxacaria canis, a roundworm found in dog faeces that can attack the retina of the eye and may cause blindness
- Dogs like to hunt and may wander into someone's garden to worry pets such as rabbits and guinea pigs
- If a stray dog wanders onto farm land and worries livestock the farmer is entitled to shoot it
- Dogs like to rip open bin bags in an attempt to find food and can cause litter to be strewn around the street
- A stray dog may find something to eat which may make him seriously ill, causing unnecessary suffering
- Not all dogs are friendly towards people and stray dogs may act aggressively and bite if not under proper control
- A dog out on its own may get lost or stolen and the owner may never see it again
- Dogs like to roam around in packs, which can be intimidating for parents with young children
- Uncastrated stray dogs also breed whilst roaming resulting in unwanted puppies
What happens to the dog?
- If the dog has a collar and tag, a tattoo or is micro-chipped, attempts will be made to contact the owner
- Dog owners have seven days to claim their pet
- After the seven days the legal ownership of the dog is passed to the Council
- Once the Council is the legal owner of the dog they will seek to re-home the dog with the help of rescue organisations
Does the owner have to pay to get their dog back?
Yes. A fee is charged PLUS all expenses incurred to detain the dog these include:
- Daily kennelling fees
- Transport fees
- Administration fees
- Veterinary fees and medication (if applicable) Fees
The cost of offences
- First offence £40
- Second offence £60
- Third offence £90
- Kennelling of stray dogs (per day)
- Veterinary costs £25
What should dog owners do?
Dog owners need to ensure that their dog cannot stray. This can be achieved in a number of ways:
- Make sure the garden is secure and there are no escape routes
- Don't leave the front door open
- Train your dog to return when its let it off the lead
In case your dog does stray make sure he has clear up to date details on his tag and is ideally micro-chipped.
How do I report a stray dog?
Reporting of stray dogs can be reported to Waltham Forest Direct on 020 8496 3000.
Stray cats or stray domestic pets
To report a stray cat or stray domestic pets contact the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999.