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 registered with up to date details.

If you lose your dog, or find a dog

If you lose or find a dog between 9am and 5pm (office hours), please report it to us by calling 01730 234318. Our Animal Welfare Officers will then collect the stray dog as soon as possible.

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 and 6pm. To contact the Stray Dog Kennels, please call 023 9268 8181.

If you lose or find a dog outside of office hours, please phone our Stray Dog Acceptance Point on 023 9268 8181. The owner may have already contacted the kennels and they can put you in touch to arrange reunification.

Please be advised that the kennels will be unable to collect the lost or stray dog.


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

  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.

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.