Stray and Missing Dogs

We are required under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to pick up stray dogs reported to us, but only if they have been contained. We will respond by attending the premises where the dog is being held and attempt to locate the owner by checking for dog tags, microchips etc.

If we are unable to locate the owner, we will transport the dog to our nominated kennels. Any dog taken to the kennels will be held for seven days so that the owner can reclaim it.  Thereafter the legal ownership of the dog will be transferred to East Herts Council and we will arrange for the dog to be rehomed (if suitable for rehoming).

If you find a stray dog, and have the dog confined under your control please call our contractor, SDK Environmental Limited on 03444 828320, 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.

An officer will aim to attend within 4 hours if the dog is confined or contained.

Please note, we do NOT deal with:

  • Rehoming unwanted dogs
  • Stray dogs that are roaming freely
  • Welfare
  • Dangerous dogs
  • Serious dog attacks or attacks involving a person
  • injured wildlife

To report a banned dog or dog attack, please contact Hertfordshire Police

For more information on banned dogs please visit GOV.UK

For other enquiries, please contact the RSPCA or another rehoming organisation.

Dogs wearing a collar and tag and/or are correctly microchipped, will on the first occasion and wherever possible, be returned to their owner. However, on subsequent occasions they are placed in kennels and will not be released unless all fees due to the Council are paid.

If they cannot be identified or returned to the owner on the first day, they will be placed in kennels. 

Any stray dog will be held at the kennels for up to seven days. If you do not claim your dog within seven days, you will lose the right to reclaim it, and we will try to re-home it.

If you have lost your dog, please check the lost dog website to see if your dog has been collected. Select East Herts Council from the drop-down Council Areas.  

The website is updated within 24 hours of a dog being collected. You should also contact your local vets, local animal rescue charities and other neighbouring Local Authorities who may have picked up your dog as a stray.

To claim your dog back, please call 03444 828300. You are required to leave a message on this line which will be responded to 7 days a week between 08:30 – 17:00. You will have to provide proof of your identity, that you are the most recent keeper of the dog and pay the costs and fines:

  • Statutory fine of £25 for not having a collar with the name and address of the owner inscribed on the collar or on a plate or badge attached to it.
  • Service charge of £33 if dog is correctly chipped increasing to £57.50 if dog is not correctly microchipped
  • There is also an additional kennel charge of £33 per day (applied to first day whether or not collected on same day)

If your dog has strayed and been involved in an accident, or has been found to require urgent veterinary attention, it may be taken to a vet. If this is the case, you will be liable for the payment of the vet fees.

All dogs aged eight weeks old and over must be microchipped and their keeper's details must be up to date. Failure to comply will mean you may be served with a notice giving you 21 days to comply or you may face a fine of up to £500.

Microchipping has a number of other welfare benefits, including serving as a deterrent to dog theft and can help the rapid return of the pet to its owners should it become lost.

More information on microchipping is available from The Dogs Trust website.

The law requires that while in public all dogs must wear a collar with the name and address (including postcode) of the owner engraved or written on it or engraved on a tag. Your telephone number is optional (but we would recommend this).

You can be fined up to £5,000 if your dog does not wear an identification tag.