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UPDATE 23/09/2022 at 16:50 Please be aware that we continue to be impacted by the regional ICT network disruption which may affect some of our online services. All telephone calls to Boston Borough Council are being diverted to South Holland District Council switchboard where queries will be dealt with as normal

Stray Dogs

Information about stray dogs and micro chipping

Stray dogs

We have a service for the collection of stray dogs. It is our policy to only collect stray dogs which have been detained by the finder.

When is a dog a stray?

A stray dog is one, which is out alone and not under the control of its owner or guardian.

Stray dogs are a serious problem -

  • They are a danger to traffic
  • They can frighten, attack or intimidate children, adults and other animals
  • They foul public areas

The Environmental Protection Act 1990 gives the council the authority to seize any stray dog, even if it is wearing a collar or identification tag, and charge for its return.

The cost for each dog is £45 plus daily kennelling of £11 per day or part thereof.

What do I do if I find a stray dog?

Our policy is to only collect stray dogs that have been detained by the finder and we only collect dogs during normal office hours Monday to Friday.

Finders of strays can contact the council during its normal opening hours on 01205 314200 and on 01205 362151 at all other times.

You should be aware that:

  • The finder is legally responsible for the dog whilst in their possession
  • Any person who takes possession of a stray dog has a responsibility to return it to the owner if they know where they live
  • The finder must keep the dog safe until such time as the dog can be collected from them during the next available working day
  • At weekends, the finder can take the stray dog, by prior arrangement, to the Council's Holding Kennels between the hours of 09:00 and 17:00
  • If you find a stray dog and wish to keep it, you must inform the Council who will check you are a fit and proper person to keep the dog and that you will be able to feed and care for it. Legally you have to keep the dog for 28 days after taking possession of it, however you do not become the legal owner of a dog and if the rightful owner of the dog requests its return you may be required to relinquish custodianship.

What happens to the stray dog after it is collected by the council's contractor?

We will take the stray dog to our designated kennels where it will remain for 7 days.

We will scan the dog for a micro-chip and attempt to identify the owner so we can let them know.

Should the dog be detained outside of normal office hours the owner if identified will be contacted the next working day.

If after 7 days the dog has not been claimed by the owner, we will give permission for the kennels to re-home the dog with a new owner.

We maintain a register of all stray dogs, this includes a description of the dog, any information on the collar, details of where the dog was found, and the date it was taken to kennels. This is available for inspection by members of the public.

How to claim back your dog

If you have lost your dog you should call us to confirm that we have it in our kennels.

We will return your dog to you upon payment of all relevant fees. Payment will need to be paid at the Municipal Buildings, West Street, Boston in advance of collecting your dog from the kennels.

Payment will be accepted by either credit or debit card or cash.

Requirement for every dog to have a collar and tag

The Control of Dogs Order 1992 requires that any dog in a public place must wear a collar with the name and address of its owner either engraved or written on a tag. A telephone number is optional (but strongly advisable). An owner can be fined up to £5000 if the dog is not wearing identification.

If my dog is micro-chipped does it still need to wear a collar and tag?

Yes your dog should wear a collar and tag as this is a legal requirement and gives the finder the opportunity to return it to the owner without handing it in to the Council as a stray.

Once a dog is handed in as a stray then the stray dog fine will have to be paid by an owner before it is returned to them.

Micro chipping of dogs

From 6th April 2016, the Micro chipping of Dogs Regulations 2015 came into force.

The regulations require all dog-owners to get their dog micro chipped so that specific information about the dog and owner can be stored on a national database.

A dog's breeder who is the dog's first keeper shall have a puppy micro chipped by the time it is 8 weeks old. All owners must have their dogs micro chipped by this date.

There are penalties for not micro chipping and not keeping the database details up to date. Authorised officers from the Council  and the Police will have the powers to issue legal notices to pet owners whose dog is not micro chipped.

A notice may be served requiring the dog's keeper to microchip the dog within 21 days of the served notice.

A fine of up to £500 can be issued or an enforcing authority can seize the dog and microchip it at the owners expense.

The regulations also prevent a dog from being transferred to a new keeper until it has been micro chipped and any new owner of a dog is required to update the information on the database on the transfer of keeper/ownership.

Micro chipping means that stray dogs which are picked up are more likely to be reunited with their owners quickly.