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Stray Dogs

Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 any dog found wandering in a public place alone can be seized by the Council as a stray and taken to kennels. Owners will have to pay a seizure and kennelling fee (see below fees) before the dog can be released. If the dog is not claimed within 7 days it will be signed over to the kennels for possible re-homing and you as the former owner will lose all rights to its return.

It is a legal requirement that every dog in a public place must wear a collar and tag with identification. This enables anyone who has found a stray dog to contact its owner.

From April 2008, Cambridgeshire Police no longer has any responsibilities for stray dogs. Stray dogs will no longer be accepted at any Police Station within South Cambridgeshire at any time, including outside normal office hours and at weekends.

What to do if you have lost your dog

Between 8am and 5:30pm (Monday to Friday) call us on 01954 713 000 to check if it has been reported found. It may have been found by someone nearby who still has it. Leave as many details as possible about the dog and the location in which it was last seen so that we can contact you if it is found. You should also contact Wood Green Pets Charity to check if they know where it is.

If the dog has been seized and taken to the Council's kennels you will need to pay a seizure and kennelling fee (see below fees) to the Council before your dog can be released. The fee must be paid at our Cambourne office where you will be issued with a receipt. If the office is closed (for example, at the weekend) you will have to wait until the office is next open. You will need to take the receipt to the kennels as proof of ownership and payment. Under no circumstances will the dog be released without a receipt.


  • Prescribed dog seizure fee- £25
  • Transportation/Admin fee- £57
  • Kennelling fee- £20 per day (plus VAT), plus veterinary fees (if applicable)

What to do if you find a stray dog

Do not approach a dog if you are unsure whether it is friendly or not. If you find a stray dog between 8am and 5:30pm (Monday to Friday) call us on 01954 713 000 to check if it has been reported lost. It may belong to someone nearby. You should also contact Wood Green Animal Shelter to check if it has been reported lost to them.

If the owner is not known, you should either take it to Wood Green Animal Shelter who will house it (please remember to call them before you go to let them know you are coming) or keep it, if you feel confident to do so, until we can pick it up. Please be aware that we cannot guarantee same day collection; on occasions an officer may not be available until the next working day.

If you find a stray dog after 3:30pm, we will be unable to collect the dog until the next working day at the earliest. Please note, Monday is the next working day after Friday. If you feel confident to do so please keep the dog until we can pick it up. Alternatively, you can take it to our 'Out of Hours' kennels. To do this call us on 01954 713 000 so that you can make the necessary arrangements, but please remember we cannot collect stray dogs out of hours.

What to do if you find a stray dog and want to keep it

If you find a stray dog and want to keep it you are legally required to notify the council. It is possible to retain the dog but you must agree to keep the dog at your address for a period of one month and to hand it over to the original owner if they come to claim the dog. The dog legally remains 'found property' and the original owner can reclaim it at any time so the dog never truly becomes the property of the finder.

If during the month you decide that you do not wish to keep the dog you must hand the dog to the Council. You are not allowed to give it to a friend or relative.

Dangerous dogs

If you see a dog that you believe is dangerously out of control or a threat to the public please contact your local police station.

If you have concerns about the welfare of a dog, which could lead it to be a danger, contact us with as much information as possible so we can look into it.

Under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 if a dog is dangerously out of control in a public place or in a private place where it is not permitted the owner and the person who was in charge of the dog at the time is guilty of an offence.

Dangerously out of control means "any occasion on which there are grounds for reasonable apprehension that it will injure any person, whether it actually does so...". The dog does not have to have injured anyone.

Animal Welfare/Cruelty

If you believe that an animal is being mistreated by its owner, contact the RSPCA.

Dog Fouling

Under the Dogs (Fouling of Land) Act 1996 it is generally an offence for anyone in charge of a dog to allow it to foul unless they clear it up. If there is a persistent problem with dog fouling in your area we have a number of options.

  • We can investigate, issue warnings, fixed penalty notices or even prosecute persons in charge who fail to clear up after their dog, providing you know who that person is, have witnessed the incident and are prepared to give a statement and possibly go to court
  • We can assess whether there are adequate facilities for the disposal of dog mess in the vicinity
  • We can arrange for ad-hoc clearances of heavily fouled areas

Barking Dogs

If you have a problem with a barking dog in your area, call 01954 713 000 for the Environmental Health section. When you do contact us it would be helpful if you could provide us (wherever possible) with your name and contact details so we can keep you fully informed and up to date with your enquiry.