Lost/Stray Dogs & Microchipping
Services offered by the Dog Wardens and details fo what to do if you have lost or found a stray dog
If you have lost your dog or found a stray dog or want to report that you have seen a dog straying please use our online form to report it (you can sign in or make a report as a guest but this link will only work for more modern browsers like Microsoft Edge or Google Chrome). Remember to leave your address, email address and contact telephone number.
For stray animals other than dogs, please visit the RSPCA website for further details.
Did you acquire a new dog/puppy during Covid Restrictions? If so, please see this page.
Stray Dogs and Dog Wardens
Many people think of a stray dog as one without a home but this is not necessarily the case. A stray dog is any dog that is roaming freely and not under the control of any person, irrespective of whether it has a home or an identification tag. All dogs should be kept under control at all times. This includes preventing them from being aggressive, straying or barking unnecessarily and keeping them on a lead where appropriate.
Where a stray dog is found, we will usually try to contact the owner if the address or telephone number is known. This may be identified by a collar with tag or microchip. If the owner cannot be contacted, or if the dog has been found straying before, the dog will be taken to the Council's kennelling facility and kept safe until the owner can pay the charges incurred and claim it.
The Police no longer have any responsibility for stray dogs. Please contact Winchester City Council's Environmental Health Administration between the hours of 09:00 - 17:00 (Monday to Thursday) and 09:00 - 16:30 (Friday) on 01962 848097 or EHealth@winchester.gov.uk .
Direct Dial numbers for the Animal Welfare Officers (Dog Wardens) are 01962 848456 or 01962 848548; they are generally at work from 08:00 to 17:00 but messages left on these voicemails will not be picked up until that officer is next in the office (and he may be on leave) so, if you require an urgent response, use the Environmental Health Administration number 01962 848097.
Outside office hours, Winchester City Council provides a drop-off facility for stray dogs at Three Oaks Kennels, Botley Road, Bishops Waltham SO32 1DR. If you have lost or found a dog, please contact our "out of hours" number on 01962 865407 and we will provide further information on this service. Alternatively, you can contact the kennels directly on 01489 892760.
*CHRISTMAS CLOSURE - Our offices will close at 5pm on Thursday 22 December 2022 and reopen at 8.30am on Tuesday 3 January 2023. Three Oaks kennels will be the point of contact for lost and found dogs only during that period.
Dogs may also be delivered directly to Three Oaks during the following times only:
Monday to Friday: 09:00 – 21:00
Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays: 09:00 – 17:00
Members of the public can claim their dogs, subject to the payment of the requisite fees and provision of ID, directly from Three Oaks kennels during the following hours only:
Monday to Sunday 09:00 - 11:00 or 15:00 - 17:00
If a dog is not reclaimed after 7 days, it is usually rehomed by a dog rescue centre but not in the area near to where the dog was originally found. Most rescue centres will assess a dog's health and temperament and will neuter a dog to prevent any more unwanted puppies; they will carry out a home check for a potential new owner. Dogs are not put to sleep unless they are suffering from severe illness, are a banned breed/type, are too dangerous to rehome or can not be found a rescue space, although this is very rare.
Stray Dog Fees
The following fees and charges shall be levied for stray dogs found within Winchester City Council’s
- Day 1 £97
- Day 2 £129
- Day 3 £161
- Day 4 £193
- Day 5 £225
- Day 6 £257
- Day 7 £289
These fees include the statutory fee of £25, a single collection/administration fee of £30 and a £32 kennelling fee per day or part day. Please note that these charges also include a £10 reclaim fee levied by the kennelling provider. There is a full explanation in the document on the right hand side of this page.
After Day 7 Winchester City Council has the legal right to take steps to rehome the dog.
If the dog has received any veterinary treatment, including flea, tick or worm treatments, or incurred any other costs to Winchester City Council, then the claimant will also be charged these costs.
Further information on the legislation can be found by clicking on the below links:
Collar, Tag and Microchip
It is an offence for a dog owner not to comply with all 3 of the requirements below;
- Keep a collar with a tag bearing the current keeper's and/or the owner's name and address on your dog in a public place.
- Have a microchip implanted in your dog and submit your details to an approved microchip database.
- Keep the microchip database details current at all times (this includes the name, address and telephone number of the current keeper of the dog).
If your dog is lost, you should report it immediately to an Animal Welfare Officer and they will do their best to reunite you with your pet.
If you think your dog has been stolen, you should report it to the Police as well as the Animal Welfare Officer.
The following website can be used to register a lost dog:
You could also contact local vets or rescue centres to see if your dog has been taken there by a member of the public. Details and telephone numbers can be found in the yellow pages/phonebook, but here are a few.
What is the law?
All dogs that are 8 weeks of age or over must be microchipped. To comply with the law you must comply with points 1 AND 2;
- Ensure your dog has a microchip that is registered on a UK database.
- Ensure that the details held against your dog's microchip are current at all times.
Note that, in addition to a microchip, there is still a legal requirement to have a collar and tag on your dog in a public place. The tag must have the owner's name and address; a telephone number is also advisable.
What is a microchip?
A microchip is a transmitter about the size of a small uncooked grain of rice. It is implanted under the dog's skin between the shoulder blades. It bears a unique number, which is displayed when a scanner passes over the chip. When the database operator is contacted and given that number, they will be able to find the details of the registered keeper of the dog.
Does it hurt?
Inserting a microchip hurts your dog as much as having a normal injection. The chip and needle are completely sterile and the injection site is very small and heals very quickly. Only fully trained people are allowed to insert microchips. It is extremely rare that there are any complications from inserting a microchip.
Where can I get my dog microchipped?
Any vet or professionally trained microchipper will microchip your dog. We have officers who are trained to microchip dogs. If you can get together with friends, neighbours or a local club to find 5 or more dogs that need chipping in the same area, contact us and we'll arrange to come out. Give us a ring on 01962 848097 or Email EHealth@winchester.gov.uk to arrange it.