A finder of a lost dog is obliged to return the dog to its owner
or contact the local authority
Failure to do so
is a criminal offence.
What do you do when you’ve lost dog? It’s a heart wrenching moment when your dog goes missing. You can’t think straight and panic sets in. So knowing what the right steps to take when you’re feeling stressed can be difficult. After you’ve looked in the place that you last saw your dog and the surrounding area, what’s next?
We’ve put together some handy advice. Read on through our guide. We hope it helps you to get your dog home, safe and quickly.
Lost a dog?
Contact your dog's microchip database
Report your dog as missing to the microchip company they are registered with as soon as possible.
Some of the companies like Petlog will be able to send out missing dog alerts across their network.
This will also give you an opportunity to make sure your contact details are up to date and correct, to enable your dog to get back home as quickly as possible.
found a dog?
Check if the dog is wearing an ID tag.
All dogs are required under The Control of Dogs Order 1992 Act to wear one.
Hopefully the dog you have found will be wearing theirs, so you can contact the owner directly to arrange returning the dog.
Unfortunately however this is not always the case.
Compulsory microchipping came into effect on 6th April 2006. Your local vet should be able to scan the dog’s microchip to locate the owners details.
Unfortunately there are still some dogs that are not microchipped or the owners details have not been updated.
Contact your local Dog Warden
Local Councils are now solely responsible for providing a found dog service in their area. The Dog Warden for your area will pick up any stray dogs or dogs which have been found.
Dogs can wander off quite far in a small amount of time, so it is also worth contacting your neighbouring councils, just in case they have your dog.
You can call your Dog Warden direct or go to your council’s lost and found dogs page for details.
If the Dog Warden has your dog, there will be a fee to pay. This will vary and depend on the council. There will some, or all of the following:
- A statutory fine
- A daily kennel fee
- An administration fee
- Any veterinary charges
- Collection costs
If the Dog Warden cannot identify the owner, they will keep the dog for a period of 7 days. If the owner doesn’t come forward within this time, they will try and re-home the dog.
In some instances, if the dog can’t be returned or rehomed, it may be put down.
Council Quick links
0208 901 2600
01895 250 190
0208 583 5555
0207 527 3222
Kensington & Chelsea
0207 361 3001
Kingston upon Thames
020 8547 5002
0207 525 2000
0207 364 5008 (opt 1)
0208 496 2225
0786 053 4733
0845 757 3268
Lost & Found Databases
Animal rescues and lost and found organisations have huge databases and resources to help you find your missing dog and reunite dogs with their owners.
You can report a dog that’s been found or one that is missing. You can also search through their online database of found dogs and give them your dog’s details, a photograph and last known whereabouts to help the search.
We highly recommend DogLost
Create a missing poster for your dog. You can post them through your neighbours doors and put them up in local vets, parks, shops, pubs, notice boards in supermarkets and the area where your pet went missing.
You can create a poster online using the Pod Lost Pet Poster Generator – It’s a great, quick and easy to use tool that gives you the option to share directly via email, Facebook or Twitter.
Don’t forget to share on your Social Media, and local community friends groups on Facebook – A very powerful tool.
Facebook also has a number of groups dedicated to helping dog parents reunite with their dogs.
Look at our Report Lost & Found Section for the main organisations.
Report Lost or Found Dogs
Pets Located is an independent service that provides a forum for owners of missing pets to post detailed listings of their pet and the last known location.
With the best available technology information is automatically matched to any similar ones on the database.
In addition to listing your missing pet on the internet, they will send your missing pet report out any organisations that might come into contact with your pet. Vets, rescue centres, animal charities and local authorities who are signed up to PetWatch™ Alerts in the area will all be alerted.
Microchip & Tag your dog
Keep your dog's ID
up to date
DON’T risk losing
your dog forever