Losing a much-loved pet is distressing and every dog owner should recognise that even the most obedient and well-guarded dog can wander off. Hopefully, your dog will find its way home or will be returned, but if it does not we recommend that you take immediate action.
Identifying your dog
The law requires that all dogs must be micro-chipped and must wear a collar with the owner's name and address inscribed on it, or on a disc attached to it, to enable the owner to be traced. If the dog is wearing a disc it is likely that it will be returned either by a member of the public or a dog warden. A micro-chip assists the dog warden to quickly identify an owner - the owner's current contact details need to be registered on the database against the micro-chip. If the owner cannot be identified we have no choice but to kennel the dog and a fee for the dogs return will then be payable.
Help prevent your dog from straying
It is essential that your dog gets an appropriate level of physical and mental stimulation to avoid problems like straying. Dogs that become bored are more likely to escape from the house or garden in search of an adventure.
Your dog may also stray to search for a mate. This can be countered by having your dog neutered.
What to do if you lose your dog
Contact our dog wardens
Stray dogs will often be picked up by our dog wardens and taken to a holding kennel - you can see recent stray dogs collected by our contractor via the link at the bottom of this page.
If your dog has been collected you must call 03444 828342 between 9am and 5pm Monday to Sunday to arrange collection (calls to this number are standard rate and mobile friendly). Please be aware that a fee is payable to collect your dog. This fee, in part, goes towards the collection costs and is currently set at £83 plus £15 for each additional day that the dog is kennelled. An additional £25 is payable if a dog is not micro-chipped as required by law to reflect the additional administration in returning dogs that are not correctly registered. Dogs are only held for the statutory seven day period. Fees are only reduced or waived in the most exceptional cases and if you wish to discuss this please call the dog warden manager using the contact details at the top right of this page. Fees have to be paid before the dog can be collected. You will also need to provide proof of your address (such as a recent utility bill) before you can collect your dog.
Contact kennels and re-homing centres
We usually kennel dogs that we collect at Stokenchurch Dog Rescue (see the web link below) and Maccabee Pets Hotel. Even if the dog warden has no knowledge of your pet, call the kennel anyway - someone may have taken the dog directly there. You can contact Stokenchurch Dog Rescue on 01494 482 695 and Maccabee Pets Hotel in Longwick on 01844 342 016, or other kennels in your area. These can be found in the telephone directory.
Look out for notices posted in your local area
Occasionally a member of the public will look after a stray pet in their home. We do not advise this, but if it happens, they need to contact the dog wardens to have it registered. It is worth checking the local vets, shops, libraries, local press and other public noticeboards to see if anyone is searching for the owner of a dog.
Ask if you can put up notices in these places. Always keep an up-to-date photograph of your dog - a picture says far more than a written description.
Check your local areas
Visit places where you usually walk your dog - it may have just decided to walk itself! Look around your local area and if you have moved recently, ask around at your last address. It is surprising how far dogs have been known to travel.
Check building sites
Are there any building sites or workmen in your area? If so, ask around - it is amazing where an inquisitive dog can manage to get trapped.
- Our dog warden service is provided by SDK Environmental Ltd.
- Telephone: 03444 828 342 (calls to this number are at standard rate and mobile friendly)