The new way to report stray dogs

A new system for reporting stray dogs is now in operation across the Winchester district.

The Police no longer have any responsibility for dealing with stray dogs and residents now need to report them to Winchester City Council instead.

Residents can report stray dogs to the City Council by calling 01962 840 222 between the hours of 8.30am and 16.30pm, Mondays to Fridays. Outside of these hours, residents should contact Coleus Kennels on 01730 827 322.

Many people think of stray dogs as merely dogs without a home, however, this is not always the case. A stray dog is actually any dog that roams around freely without the supervision of its owner, regardless of whether it has a home and an identification collar.

The law requires owners to keep their dogs under control at all times; this includes preventing them from being aggressive, straying, barking unnecessarily, continuously fouling in public areas, and keeping them on a lead where appropriate. It is also a legal requirement for all dogs to be fitted with a collar tag stating the owners name and address.

The City Council provides free engraved dog identification discs to dog owners within the Winchester district. These can be obtained by emailing or calling 01962 840 222

The City Council’s Animal Welfare Team picks-up over 150 dogs each year. These range from lanky Lurchers to bossy Boxers and cheeky Chihuahuas. Most come and go without too much fuss but, once in a while, a special dog touches the hearts of the team. Late last year, a dog called Hector did just that!

Hector was a rather elderly border terrier; found exhausted, smelly and flea ridden in Hambledon. He seemed so helpless that a member of the Animal Welfare team immediately took him home, to allow him to feast himself on dog food and snuggle-up on a nice comfortable sofa. He then spent the next day back at the Animal Welfare team’s office, where he received admiring visitors from around the City Council and even posed for photos from time to time!

There was a frantic search to find Hector a permanent loving home. City Council staff contacted their friends and relatives in a quest to find a good home for him. However, the search was soon called-off when the team found out that Hector already had a home!

The dog that the Animal Welfare team had christened 'Hector' was actually called ‘Hooch’; he was a farm dog from East Meon who had taken himself off for a rather long walk. The team were happy to have reunited Hooch with his owner but, at the same time, they were sad to see him go.

Zoë Martin, Senior Animal Officer at the City Council, said: "Each year we take-in over 150 stray dogs. Many of them are found in a very sorry state and some require specialist veterinary care. We have found new homes for over 40 dogs over the past year, and our non-destruction policy means that the remaining dogs are sent to rescue centres, where they are very well looked after until they find a nice new home. We actively search for stray dogs across the district, but we are heavily reliant on residents reporting them to us"

For more information about the City Council’s Animal Welfare team, visit the City Council’s website, email, or phone 01962 840 222.