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Stray dogs

When we receive a report that someone has found and contained a stray dog, we will normally make arrangements for a Dog Welfare and Enforcement Officer to collect the dog within normal working hours. Evenings (up to 10pm) and at weekends we send a contractor out to collect the dog. However during peak times this may not be possible and you may be requested to look after the dog until the next working day.

Outside these times there is no collection of stray dogs. We would usually ask you to look after the dog until we are able to arrange collection, which may be the next working day (Monday – Friday 9am to 5pm). Please still notify us that you have found a stray dog as we might have details of someone reporting losing a dog matching that description in your area.  We keep a record of dogs that are seen roaming, but we are not be able to look for a roaming dog that has not been contained as it is likely that it would have left the immediate area by the time an officer arrived.

Owners normally claim their lost dog from us within a few days.

If you've lost your dog, or have found a dog you believe may be lost, please read below to find out what to do.

If you dog has a collar and tag as legally required, we will rarely need to get involved as the finder can contact the owner immediately to make them aware.

I have lost my dog

We know it is a stressful time losing a pet. If you've lost your dog, and it is not on the list of dogs we've collected (please note this isn't updated outside of normal working hours), please call us on 0300 1234 212 to register your dog missing. Even if it is out of normal working hours, you can still call on the telephone number above, listen to the full answer phone message and follow the instructions for lost or found stray dogs.  We will take your details so we can contact you if we receive a report related to your dog.

We will need: 

  • Your contact details (name, address, telephone number)
  • A description of the dog, such as its type, colour, size
  • Time, date and location where you lost your dog
  • Any other relevant information, such as, is the dog micro chipped?

Other places to check

Ask your local vets to check if your dog has been handed in to them

Register with DogLost Cornwall on Facebook who are a not for profit organisation. They aim to reunite lost dogs with their owners use social media as a platform to raise awareness. 

View stray dogs we have collected recentlyWe maintain a register of lost and found dogs. When you phone us we will check the register to see whether your dog has been found. If we do have your dog, we will arrange its release subject to settlement of any fees due prior to collection. We make every effort to reunite dogs with owners at the earliest opportunity.  No dog will be released without payment in full of all relevant fees and charges and costs incurred view the charges below.

I have found a dog

If a lost/stray dog has a tag with contact details on it, please try and contact the owner first before contacting the Council. If you are unable to make contact with the owner or the dog does not have an identity tag please contact us on 0300 1234 212.

We will need:

  • Your contact details (name, address, telephone number)
  • A description of the dog, i.e. its type, colour, size
  • Time, date and location where you found the dog

The details that you give us will be recorded in our lost dogs register. A Dog Welfare and Enforcement Officer will then collect the dog as soon as they are able.

If you find a stray dog outside normal working hours, we normally operate a collection only service between:

  • 5pm to 10pm on weekdays
  • 9am to 10pm during weekends and bank holidays

Please note that we do not provide a 24 hour collection service for lost dogs and in some cases at peak times you may be required to hold onto the dog or take it to a place of safety until the next working day.  Where collection is available you may be required to take the dog to a specific location (which may be several miles away) so that it can be collected from you. You could also take the dog to a local Vets to have it checked for a microchip.

How to get your dog back

In office hours

Call us on 0300 1234 212 and speak to the Dog Welfare and Enforcement Officer.

If we have your dog we will take a payment for any fees owed, and then arrange the release with you.

Out of office hours

  1. Dogs may be collected out of hours between 5-10pm weekdays and 9-10pm at weekends and bank holidays.
  2. Call the out of hours operator on 0300 1234 212 to arrange the release and they will tell you the amount owed. Out of hours releases only take place at weekends and bank holidays where the dog has correct identification.
  3. Pay online using the dog release form.
  4. Take the payment receipt that you are emailed with you to meet the contractor to collect your dog.

How to pay

Prior to any payment you must have spoken to the service to prove ownership of the dog in our care. Once satisfied we will explain the charges incurred and a payment must be made so we can release the dog to your care. In working hours 9-5 this can be made via an automated telephone system.  For out of hours, or if preferred during standard office hours, we have an online form where the payment can be made once agreed with the service.

Make a payment using the dog release form

You do not have to use the out of hours service, and can chose to wait until the next working day and not pay the additional release costs (although you will incur additional kennelling costs).

How much does it cost?

If we've picked up your dog as a stray, you will need to pay a minimum release and admin fee of £90.00. Should your dog be placed into kennels there is an additional expense of £17.00 per day or part day, as well as other potential costs described below. This is to cover the cost of looking after your dog.

We use contractors to collect and return dogs outside normal hours (9-5 Monday to Friday). There is an additional charge of £50 for any dogs collected out of hours. If you would also like your Dog returned out of hours, there is a further charge of £55.

Dogs will only be released out of hours at weekends/bank holidays up until 4pm - where the details on the microchip are up to date and correct. 

You will also be responsible for any fees incurred such as vet's fees.

You will need to contact your local Dog Welfare and Enforcement Officer on 0300 1234 212 in order to make arrangements to collect your dog.

No dog is released without full payment of fees. We cannot accept payment by instalments.

The owner has seven full days from the date the dog was found to claim their dog. If the dog is unclaimed after the seventh day it will be re-homed by the council and the owner will no longer have any claim to the dog. Please note that the owner of the dog(s) may still be liable to pay costs incurred for any unclaimed dog(s).

What happens to stray dogs?

Dogs found or handled by us are normally scanned for a micro-chip (there may be some occasions where this is not possible - as such we always recommend you call us to report your dog missing), and where they are micro-chipped the owner is contacted to arrange return of their dog.  Where the owner can be contacted immediately the dog is released and no kennel charges are normally incurred (although you will be charged a release fee).  Where the owner can't be contacted or is unable to collect their dog at that time the dog is normally taken to kennels, and additional kennelling costs are incurred as above.


We will endeavour to re-home all stray dogs suitable for re-homing if they are not claimed by their owner within seven days. Only in the most severe cases (such as being too aggressive to be re-homed or following advice from a vet) would a stray dog be put to sleep. 

We work with re-homing charities and ensure that all re-homed dogs are checked by a vet and are micro-chipped, vaccinated and castrated/neutered. Home visits are carried out to ensure that dogs only go to suitable homes. We do not rehome direct to the public.

We recommend that all dogs that you are not intending to breed from are neutered/castrated in order to avoid unwanted puppies. Speak to your vet, who will be able to give advice.

Stray Dog Data

Please see the links below for the registers of seized stray dogs:

Please see below for more information on these seized stray dogs including details by breed and those that have been rehomed/put to sleep:

Data for previous years is available on request.

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