Stray, lost and dangerous dogs

Stray and lost dogs

Have you found a stray dog?

A stray dog is a dog unsupervised in a public place - it doesn't matter whether it is wearing a collar, tag or has a microchip: It is still classed as a stray when out roaming alone. Watford Borough Council has a duty under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to collect stray dogs.

If you have found a dog, please call  01923 226400. Watford Borough Council will collect any contained stray dogs.

Reporting your lost dog

You can report your lost dog to Watford Borough Council on 01923 278503.

If you think that your dog may have been stolen, we advise you to contact the police and obtain a crime number.

If your dog is collected as a stray dog, you will have to pay the Statutory 'straying' fee of £25, if your dog is taken to our kennels,

If your dog is taken to our kennels, you will have to pay the kennelling fee of £101 for the first day and £20 for each additional day before it can be returned. (A concessionary rate is also available).

If the owner can not be traced, the dog is kept in the kennels at the owner's expense. If the dog is not claimed within seven days, the owner will lose the right to reclaim it and the Council we will try to re-home it.

Please note that it is a legal requirement for you to have your dog microchipped.

Dangerous dogs

If you or your dog is attacked by a dog you should call the Police.

If people are using dogs to cause anti-social behaviour call the Police

You may be asked to give a witness statement for use in court. The police may have powers to seize a dog and courts have the power to imprison and disqualify people from owning a dog for as long as they think necessary.

We welcome responsible dog owners into our parks and open spaces. See Watford park rules for do's and dont's when walking your dog.

American Bully XLs

On 15 September the Prime Minister announced plans to ban American Bully XLs in the UK by the end of 2023. Since 31 December 2023 it has been against the law to:

  • Sell an XL Bully dog
  • Abandon an XL Bully dog
  • Give away an XL Bully dog
  • Breed from an XL Bully dog
  • Have an XL Bully in public without a lead and muzzle

From the 1st February it will be illegal to own an XL Bully in England without an exemption.

Further information can be found on  how to support owners of American Bully XL leaflet and the Blue cross website. 

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