Stray Dogs

Local authorities have legal responsibility to deal with stray dogs. The Police no longer have any responsibility under the new legislation. Many callers mistakenly contact local veterinary surgeons, the RSPCA or other animal charities asking for their help.

Finding a stray dog

If you happen to come across a stray dog, it is important to make sure it is secure. After this, please contact West Somerset Council as soon as possible who will liaise with the dog warden service to arrange a suitable time for collection. There are certain do's and don’ts for finders of strays, they are:

Do's if find a stray dog Don'ts if find a stray dog
  • Do contact the council, as soon as possible
  • Do secure the dog to ensure that the dog warden doesn't have a wasted journey
  • Do not take the dog to a veterinary surgeon.  If this happens, the finder is responsible for any fee's incurred from the vet.
  • Do not pass the dog on to a third party or give the dog away. 
Dog owners

Dog owners have a legal responsibility to stop their dogs straying and are also required by law to ensure their dog wears a collar and tag with the owner's name and address. Permanent methods of identification, such as a microchip or tattoo, are also highly recommended. If your dog is detained by this Authority, you will be charged the statutory fine, along with any veterinary costs, kennelling fees and admin charges. The present schedule of fees are as follows:



 Statutory Fine  £25.00
 Kennelling (per day or part thereof)  £11.50
 Administration (council and kennel combined)  £25.00
Reporting your dog as lost

It is important that you inform the local authority as soon as possible that your dog has gone missing.  This enables dog and owner to be reunited quicker.  When reporting your dog missing, we will require the following information:

  • Details of where and when the dog went missing
  • Breed of the dog
  • Colour
  • Sex
  • Distinctive markings
  • If the dog had a collar and tag or was chipped or tattooed

If you have lost a dog, you can contact West Somerset Council Customer Services on 01643 703704.

Claiming your dog
  • If the dog warden service has taken your dog to the kennels, the first thing you need to do is obtain a 'release certificate' once the correct fines and fees have been paid at the Kennels.
  • Due to unfortunate circumstances all stray dogs are currently being taken to St Giles Kennels in Wrantage, nr Taunton. We are looking into arrangements for the West Somerset area and will update this page as soon as arrangements have been confirmed.

Weekend & Bank Holiday Service

The Council provides a stray dog service 7 days a week. The arrangements have been made so that all reported confined stray dogs can be now collected by between the hours of 8am – 8pm, Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays.

Arrangements have also been made where in exceptional circumstances a confined stray dog requires emergency veterinary care, collections can occur at any time. If the dog requires lifesaving veterinary care, please state this when you contact the council.

You can contact the Council to inform that you have lost or have got a stray dog out of these hours by ringing the same telephone number - 01643 703704. In terms of a stray dog, arrangements will be made with you for collection the next day.

Please call the Council on 01643 703704 to report your dog missing or to inform of a confined stray dog that needs collection.