Lost and stray dogs

Lost and stray dogs

A dog that is unsupervised in a public place is classified as a stray dog. Stray dogs can cause problems such as road accidents, attacks on people or other animals, and damage to property.

The council has a duty to collect stray dogs. Where possible, our Animal Welfare Officers will return the dog to its home. Where the owner can’t be found, it will be taken to a kennels contracted to us.

Owners claiming their dog will have to pay the charges listed below before it is returned.

Unclaimed dogs are kept by us for 7 days. After this, the dog may be rehomed, given to a dog rescue or destroyed. We do everything possible to avoid destroying a healthy dog.

Dog owners’ responsibilities

By law, your dog must:

  • Wear a collar with your name and address on it. If it doesn’t wear a collar, you could be prosecuted and fined up to £5,000.
  • Be microchipped and the details registered and up to date.

If you lose your dog, or find a dog

On working days between 9am and 5pm: report it to the Animal Welfare Officers on 01730 234318, who will collect a stray dog as soon as possible. You could also inform your local vets and, if you are close to the district boundary, the neighbouring council’s officers.

We use Portsmouth City Council Stray Dog Kennels to hold stray dogs; the kennels are open to the public to reclaim their dogs between 9am-6pm – telephone 023 9268 8181.

Portsmouth City Council Stray Dog Kennels, Great Salterns Farm, Burrfields Road, Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO3 5HH.

Outside the above hours, but between 9am and 10pm: please telephone our Stray Dog Acceptance Point on 023 9268 8181 if you have found or lost a dog. The owner may have already contacted the kennels and they can put finder and owner in contact to arrange reunification.

Please note that the Stray Dog Acceptance Point is unable to go out to collect a stray dog but can take one in if the finder is prepared to take the dog to kennels during out of hours.


  1. There will be charges to pay if your dog was collected by the animal welfare officers or taken to the reception centre.
  2. You must pay full kennelling rates directly to the kennels for every day or part-day that your dog was there.
  3. You must pay any vet bills incurred while your dog was at the kennels.
  4. You must pay the statutory fee of £25 plus a handling change of £11 per animal.
  5. If your dog was taken to the reception centre outside the council's normal working hours, there will be an extra charge of £25.

All charges must be paid to the kennels or, if you prefer, directly to the council before the dog is released.

When collecting your dog, take some identification with your name and address on, such as a driving licence. You will also need to provide proof of ownership of the dog you are collecting.

Rehoming a dog

Want to rehome a dog? Try our facebook page where we advertise dogs that are looking for a home.