Animal Welfare

Information about animal welfare in the District

To report cases of animal cruelty to the RSPCA telephone: 0300 1234 999

Winchester City Council do not directly investigate animal cruelty complaints but our Animal Welfare Team are happy to discuss issues and point you in the right direction. Contact us on 01962 848097 or

* Because of the worries of Covid19, the RSPCA have produced a poster for pet owners to fill in and display, indicating options for caring for your pet in an emergency. It can be found on the RSPCA website here

There is some advice on the Canine and Feline Advisory Group from national pet charities and experts if you are worried your pets or the way to look after them during this difficult period. Just click here

  • Dogs in hot cars

    Some people think that it is illegal to leave a dog in a car. This is not the case but, if your dog is suffering as a result, that can be an offence. This is most likely to happen when the weather is hot or sunny - your car acts like an oven and heats up very quickly, even if you leave windows open, and a dog can suffer heatstroke in as little as 5 or 10 minutes (leaving a water bowl in the car does not help).

    The Kennel Club provide further information.

    If you see a dog showing signs of heatstroke, by all means call us on 01962 848097.

  • Animals and fireworks

    During the Firework Season, your domestic pets growing fearful or anxious with the unusual and erratic loud bangs and flashes.

    It is best to keep dogs and cats in the house in the evenings at this time of year. There are measures that you can take to ease your pet’s distress and The RSPCA and The Blue Cross offer advice on how to recognise and ease it. Of course, horses and ponies can also be affected. The British Horse Society has a useful information on the steps you can take to minimise their stress.

    Should your pet show extreme fear of fireworks, you should always consult your vet as there are products available that can help.

    For further information, please contact the Animal Welfare team on 01962 848097 or

  • The Animal Welfare Act 2006

    Any person that is responsible for an animal has a legal duty to ensure they are meeting all of the needs of that animal as required by good practice. Different animals have different needs but all reasonable steps must be taken to provide the most basic, which include the need :

    • for a suitable environment (place to live)
    • for a suitable diet
    • to exhibit normal behaviour patterns
    • to be housed with, or apart from, other animals (if applicable)
    • to be protected from pain, injury, suffering and disease

    DEFRA has produced guidance on what is considered good practice for the care of Dogs, Cats and Horses (click the link to go to the guidance).

    Failing to provide for the needs of any animal or causing an animal unnecessary suffering is an offence and anyone found guilty of this offence may be banned from owning animals, face a large fine or imprisonment.

    The Act also covers other offences, including tail docking and dog fighting.

    Full details of the Animal Welfare Act can be found here.