The dog service promotes and monitors responsible dog ownership. We enforce dog fouling where we can issue on-the-spot penalties for failing to clear up after your dog. We also enforce dog nuisance legislation and deal with secured stray dogs.
Dog fouling is a persistent issue in many communities. We work to tackle the problem through promoting responsible dog ownership, coordinating enforcement action, providing support for community groups and education.
What every dog owner should know:
- The law covers all public open spaces
- You must clean-up after your dog on pavements, roads, footpaths, parks, football pitches, communal land, back greens, stairs, closes and any other land open to the public
- You can dispose of your dog mess in your bin at home, in any public litter bin, or in the designated dog bins provided
- We recognise that the majority of dog owners act responsibly and clean-up after their dogs
Dogs on beaches
Between 1 May and 30 September dogs are not permitted on some beaches. View our maps which detail the Dog Exclusion Beaches.
Microchipping is compulsory for all dog owners in England. All puppies must be microchipped and recorded on a microchip database by the time they are eight weeks old. If a dog owner moves, changes contact telephone number, etc. the details must be updated. If the details are not updated then the dog is no longer considered microchipped under law and enforcement can be taken. The owner of an unchipped dog will be given 21 days to comply. Failure to do so may result in a prosecution.
Having a dog microchipped does not mean you will get your dog back free, this is a legal requirement and will allow us to find the owner more quickly and minimise costs.
To check your details Chip it, Check it. Enter your dogs microchip number in the search engine. Once you know what database your dogs details are recorded on then visit the relevant website.
Dogs off leads
All dogs must be kept on a lead when by the roadside and under proper control in public areas
Secured stray dogs
If you secure a stray dog you can report it to the Environment Officer’s Team through our contact centre on 01983 821000 during office hours or 01983 821105 outside office hours.
We currently provide a collection service for secured stray dogs Monday to Friday from 9am to 4pm and Saturday and Sunday 10am to 4pm. If dogs are secured outside these hours the duty Environment Officer or Kennel provider will collect the secured dog first thing the following morning. Please keep the dog safe and in a secure area until the duty Environment Officer arrives.
We do not provide a 24 hour collection service for lost dogs.
If your dog goes missing
If your dog goes missing you can report it to the Environment Officer’s Team through our contact centre on 01983 821000 during office hours or 01983 821105 outside office hours. The information will be circulated to all Environment Officers and if the dog is found we will contact you as soon as possible.
If you see a stray roaming dog
If you see a stray roaming dog please report to the Environment Officer’s Team with a description, the last location seen and the direction the dog is travelling. The information will be circulated to the Environment Officers and any owners who have reported their dog missing. The Environment Officers will not actively search for roaming stray dogs but will search if they are in the area.
Once a dog has been collected or seized under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 section 149, it will be checked for ID such as tags. It is a legal requirement to have a tag affixed to your dogs’ collar, (Control of Dogs Act 1992). The dog will also be scanned for the presence of a microchip. If a chip is detected then the owners can be traced through that, providing that the contact details are correct.
If the owner cannot be contacted or there are no outstanding reports of missing dogs, the dog will be taken to kennels. If no owner can be found, then after the statutory seven day period the dog will be re-homed at the discretion of the Environment Officer. The charges for this service are shown below payable before return of a dog by credit card or cheque.
Current fees and charges
- Secured stray dog statutory fee - £50.00
- Collection of secured stray dog (out of hours) - £60.00
- Kennelling fee per night - £50.00
- Second offence handling fee - £25.00
- Additional administration fee - £25.00
- Fee for a secured stray dog not chipped - £25.00
A dangerous dog is one that is dangerously out of control to the extent that it has bitten a person, or there is a very real fear that it is likely to do so This should be reported to the police, the Dog Service cannot enforce any law regarding these issues. If you see a dog on dog fight this is a civil matter which an individual owner must deal with privately through courts.
Dogs thought to need a muzzle can only be enforced by the police through the courts.
Under The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 four types of dog are banned:
- Pit Bull Terrier
- Dogo Argentino
- Fila Brasiliero
- Japanese Tosa
DEFRA have produced a useful leaflet explaining the law in relation to dogs.