Lost a Dog? Warrington Animal Welfare Advise

Help finding a lost dog Warrington Animal Welfare

Lost a Dog? Warrington Animal Welfare Advise

Even the most obedient dog can disappear on occasion. Hopefully your dog will find his way home or will be returned by a kind member of the public, but if not we suggest you take immediate action to find him. 
Remember - by law your dog must wear a collar with your name and address inscribed on it, or on a disc attached to it, whenever he is out in public.
  • This means it’s easier for your dog to be returned to you quickly by a member of the public or a local authority animal warden.
  • Have your dog Microchipped! Collars and tags can fall off or be removed; microchipping is a more permanent form of identifying your dog. Find out more on our microchipping page [link to page]

Who to contact if you lost your dog?

1. Your Local Authority Dog Warden
  • Dogs found straying will usually be picked up by a local dog or animal warden and taken to a holding kennel. Dog wardens are legally responsible for stray dogs so this is the first place you should call.
  • You should be able to contact your local dog warden through the Environmental Health Department of your local council.
  • The dog warden must legally hold onto a stray dog for 7 days (5 days in Northern Ireland) before they can rehome him, pass him onto a rehoming organisation or have him humanely put to sleep.
2. Your local police station
  • Contact the police if you think your dog has been stolen.
  • The police will pick up stray dogs if they are found chasing or worrying livestock, but in all other cases stray dogs are the responsibility of the local authority (as above).
3. Kennels and Rehoming Centres
  • Even if the police and dog warden have no record of your pet being handed in, ask them for the details of their holding kennels and call them anyway. A member of the public may have taken your dog there directly.
  • Contact any other kennels in the area, including boarding kennels.
  • Contact all the rehoming centres in your area – search 'Animal Welfare' for contact details, or visit our useful contacts page
  • If your dog is a pedigree, try local breeders. Contact the Kennel Club - 0844 463 3980 – for details of your local breed rescue group.
4. Veterinary surgeries
  • Phone around all of the veterinary surgeries in your area. Sadly, your dog may have been involved in a traffic accident or a dog fight and may have been taken to the vet for treatment.
  • Leave your details with the vet so they can contact you should a dog of his description come into the surgery.
5. Noticeboards, registers and social media
  • Occasionally a member of the public will take in a stray pet and look after it until the owner is found. We don’t advise people to do this, but if they do they must contact the dog warden and other interested parties.
  • It is worth checking the local vet surgeries, supermarket noticeboards, shops, libraries, local newspapers and other public noticeboards to see if anyone is searching for the owner of a dog that fits your pet's description.
  • Ask if you can put notices up in these places - preferably a colour poster with an up-to-date photograph of your dog.
  • Social Media is free and very effective – post to Facebook, Twitter Instagram etc so that your friends and followers can join in the search.
  • Consider registering your dog with a national lost dog database, such as DogLost (0844 800 3220) - www.doglost.co.uk
6. Local areas & buildings
  • Visit places where you usually walk your dog - he may have decided to walk himself!
  • Look around your local area and if you’ve moved house recently, ask around at your last address – it’s surprising how far dogs have been known to travel.
  • If there are any building sites or workmen in your area, ask around in case your dog has become trapped somewhere on site.

Why do dogs stray?

  • It’s most likely a dog has run off to find the company of other dogs or to find food – so make sure that your dog has frequent access to both of these things.
  • If your garden fence is broken or not high enough then most dogs will escape given the choice - so fix it so that your dog can't get out.
  • If your dog is likely to run out of your front door when you open it, make sure that you shut him away safely in another room before you do so.
  • Dogs that are bored or are brimming with energy are more likely to escape from the house or garden in search of an adventure - so make sure that your dog gets enough exercise, play and training time with you to use his brain and wear him out.
  • If your dog runs off when you are on a walk with him because he has seen other dogs or caught a whiff of a scent, keep him on an extending or long lead until you have taught him to come back on command.
  • If your dog is not neutered then he or she may be escaping in the search for a mate. This can lead to unwanted litters of puppies as well as being the cause of traffic accidents, or result in your male dog getting into fights and being a general nuisance. The answer to this is to have your dog neutered - he or she will not.  Contact us if you need help neutering your dog [link to neutering page]
We are only too well aware of the distress that can be caused when a much loved pet goes missing. We hope that the advice in this factsheet is helpful in getting your dog returned safely.