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Stray dogs

All dogs must be chipped

Under the Microchipping of Dogs (England) Regulations 2015 all dogs in England over the age of eight weeks must be fitted with microchips. More details on microchipping can be found on Gov.uk.

If you find a dog that you think is lost or a stray, you can report it to our dog warden service based at St Giles Kennels, Taunton, 01823 490333. We must, by law, collect strays that have been caught and take them to kennels.

You must make sure the dog really is a stray and that an owner is not nearby. If the dog has an identity tag, try to contact the owners and ask them to collect it.

If there is no tag or you can't contact the owners report it to our dog warden at St Giles Kennels.

The first time the dog warden collects a stray, on the basis the dog is chipped and we can contact the owners, we will try to return the dog, give them a verbal warning and charge a reduced fee.

Strays taken to kennels

If it happens again, or if we can’t contact the owner straightaway, the dog will be taken to kennels. Dogs seized by the dog warden will be taken to St Giles Kennels, Wrantage.

Owners must pay a fine of £25 plus costs and daily kennelling fees so they can get their dog back. They may also have to pay any vet’s fees if the dog has need urgent treatment.

The dog will stay in the kennels for seven clear days. The owner can reclaim it between 10.00am to 1.00pm and 2.00pm to 5.00pm seven days a week with the exception of Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day and Easter Sunday. If the dog is not claimed in that time, the dog we take ownership and, in most cases, we’ll re-home the dog.

If you live in Somerset West and Taunton and find a stray in another council's area, eg if you’re on a day trip, don’t bring it back. Report it to the council for the area where you found it.

The Dogs Trust provide a wide range for helpful advice for dog owners.

The dog warden will collect a confined stray between 8.00am and 8.00pm seven days a week. Out of these hours the service is restricted to emergencies only if the finder or the dog are at risk.

Laws and regulation

We have a legal duty under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 section 149 to collect stray dogs and take them to kennels. This is the only legal duty the dog wardens have to provide. It is an offence under The Control of Dogs Order 1992 for a dog to be in a public place without a collar and tag bearing the name and address of its owners. By-laws relating to dog on leads and dog ban areas are clearly signed. You can ask the dog warden for details of all the by-laws.