Dog welfare and enforcement

Cornwall Council's Dog Welfare and Enforcement Service is responsible for dealing with a wide range of dog related issues.

What we deal with

All dogs that are dealt with by the Dog Welfare and Enforcement Service are cared for in a manner so as to ensure their welfare is of utmost importance and we have been awarded a Gold Footprint for the way in which we deal with dogs in our care. 

What the Police deal with

  • Dogs acting in a dangerous or aggressive manner (giving people reasonable fear of attack)
  • Dogs worrying livestock on agricultural land
  • Road traffic collisions involving dogs
  • Control of guard dogs
  • Dogs being used for illegal purposes (i.e. poaching)
  • Dogs in cars on hot days

Should you wish to report any of these issues to the Police please call 101 unless it is a serious emergency.

Responsible dog ownership

Key Facts

As a responsible dog owner you need to be aware that the law requires you to do the following things:

  • Your dog must wear a collar displaying the name and address of the owner or on a disc attached to it even if it has been micro-chipped so that the owners can be traced in the event of an accident or if your dog goes missing. 
  • You must clean up after your dog fouls any area to which the public are entitled access (by way of payment or not). Failure to remove faeces immediately will result in a fixed penalty of £100.00 being issued to you. If you fail to pay within 14 days you may then be liable to prosecution and a fine of up to £1000.00.
  • You must not let your dog out on its own at any time. If your dog is found on its own by a Dog Welfare and Enforcement Officer you will be liable to pay to have it released as well as all costs incurred.
  • You must not let your dog bite or attack any person or other animal.
  • Barking dogs can be considered a nuisance and enforcement action may be considered in dealing with persistent offenders. Officers from public health and protection may undertake investigations into noise nuisance. For further information please see our responsible dog owner leaflet.

Visit the noise nuisance page for more informationBuying a Puppy

Our Animal Health and Welfare team have put together some good advice if you are thinking of buying a puppy. For further information please see our advice on buying a puppy poster.

Reporting complaints and requests for service

To report any incident or situation involving welfare, nuisance or danger caused by animals or to obtain further information and advice, please contact the Public Protection Service by emailing

Need help?

Most issues can be resolved online, it's the quickest and most convenient way to get help.

Your feedback is important to us

Help us improve our service