We collect and detain stray dogs and other animals.

Hertfordshire Constabulary is not responsible for accepting stray dogs and you should not contact them for this service.

Stray dogs

What should I do if I find a stray dog?

The law requires you to return a stray dog to its owner or contact the local authority for the area in which the dog was found. If you fail to do this then you may have committed an offence, which could lead to a fine or conviction.  

How do I report a stray dog?

Call Environmental Health on 020 8207 7435: Monday to Friday 8.30am to 4pm. 

After this time or at weekends and public holidays, please use our out of hours service on 0345 300 0021

What will the council do?


We collect and register all dogs found in Hertsmere and reported to us Monday to Friday.

We will only collect contained strays, this means that the dog must be under control and for example  not running around a field loose.

We will try to find the owner, but if we cannot do that straight away the dog will go to a kennel for up to seven days, while we investigate further.

The owner will be liable to pay any fees incurred, including those of the kennels.

If a dog is reported outside of Monday to Friday you will be advised what to do next when you report it.

How much are the fees?

  • £25 seizure charge (statutory fee)
  • £50 transport / administration charge
  • £35 per night kennel fee - subject to change if kennel costs increase

How can I find out if you have got my pet?

Please contact us on 020 8207 7435

If you are the rightful owner, you will need to provide proof of ownership and identification to reclaim your dog.

What does the law say?

Dogs must be fitted with a microchip by the time they are 8 weeks old.

Information on the chip must be registered with a database listed on the gov.uk website: https://www.gov.uk/get-your-dog-microchipped

Failure to microchip  a dog as well as failing to register the information with a database on the list and keep the information up to date can result in a £500 fine. 

In addition to microchipping, under the Control of Dogs Order 1992  dogs must wear a collar and tag with the owners name and address when in a public place.

Any other form of identification, such as a tattoo, and any other information such as a telephone number on the tag, are optional but are very helpful in trying to reunite owners  with their pet.

The maximum penalty for not  having an identification tag in a public space is currently £5000.

Can you keep a dog you find?

If you wish to keep a stray dog you are legally required to notify us. You will be asked to sign a form agreeing to keep the dog for a minimum of one month, unless claimed by the original owner.  If, within this time you decide you are no longer able to keep the dog it must be handed over to the dog warden. You must not give the dog to family or friends because in the case of a dog being retained by the finder, the dog legally remains 'found property' and the original owner can reclaim it at any time. Therefore, the dog never truly becomes the property of the finder. 

Other animals

We are allowed to impound any livestock which has strayed onto our land. Animals are only returned to their owners after payment for any damages and expenses incurred.