Lost/Stray Dogs

For stray animals other than dogs, please visit the RSPCA website for further details.

Stray Dogs

Many people think of a stray dog as one without a home but this is not the case. A stray dog is any dog that is roaming freely and not under the control of any person, irrespective of whether it has a home or an identification tag.

All dogs must be kept under control at all times. This includes preventing them from being aggressive, straying, barking unnecessarily and keeping them on a lead where appropriate.

The Police no longer have any responsibility for stray dogs. Please contact Winchester City Council between the hours of 09:00 - 17:00 (Monday to Thursday) and 09:00 - 16:30 (Friday) on 01962 848350 or EHealth@winchester.gov.uk . You will often (but not always) find an Animal Welfare Officer between 08:00 and 09:00 during the week on 01962 848456 or 01962 848548.

Outside of these hours Winchester City Council provides a drop off facility for stray dogs. If you have lost or found a dog, please contact our "out of hours" number on 01962 865407 and we will provide further information on this service.

Where a stray dog is found, we will usually try to contact the owner if the address or telephone number is known. This may be identified by a collar with tag or microchip. If the owner cannot be contacted or is not at home, the dog will be taken to the Council's kennelling facility and kept safe until the owner can claim it.

If a dog is not reclaimed after 7 days it is usually rehomed by a dog rescue centre but not in the area near to where the dog was originally found. Most rescue centres will assess a dog's health and temperament and will neuter a dog to prevent any more unwanted puppies; they will carry out a home check for a potential new owner. Dogs are not put to sleep unless they are suffering from severe illness, are too dangerous to re home or can not be found a rescue space, although this is very rare.

Stray Dog Fees

The following fees and charges shall be levied for stray dogs found within Winchester City Council’s

  • Day 1 £80
  • Day 2 £104
  • Day 3 £128
  • Day 4 £152
  • Day 5 £176
  • Day 6 £200
  • Day 7 £224

These fees include the statutory fee of £25, a single collection/administration fee of £21 and £24 kennelling fee per day or part day. Please note that these charges include the £10 reclaim fee levied by the kennels.

After Day 7, if the dog remains unclaimed, ownership passes to Winchester City Council who may then take steps to rehome the dog.

If the dog has received any veterinary treatment, including flea, tick or worm treatments, then the claimant will also be charged these costs.

For service Terms and Conditions please click on the attachment at the bottom of the page.

Further information on the legislation can be found by clicking on the below links:


Collar, Tag and Microchip

It is an offence for a dog owner not to comply with all 3 of the requirements below;

  • Keep a collar with a tag bearing the owner's name and address on your dog in a public place.
  • Have a microchip implanted in your dog and submit your details to an approved microchip database.
  • Keep the microchip database details current at all times (this includes the name, address and telephone number of the current keeper of the dog).

Lost/Stolen Dogs

If your dog is lost, you should report it immediately to an Animal Welfare Officer and they will do their best to reunite you with your pet.

Tel: 01962 848350                   Email; EHealth@winchester.gov.uk

If you think your dog has been stolen, you should report it to the Police as well as the Animal Welfare Officer.

Other places you could try after you have let us know are:

You could also contact local vets or rescue centres to see if your dog has been taken there by a member of the public. Details and telephone numbers can be found in the yellow pages/phonebook, but here are a few.