The Council's Animal Welfare team provide several services that focus on the health and wellbeing of animals across the Borough.
It is now a legal requirement throughout the United Kingdom for all dog owners to have their dogs microchipped and recorded with a government compliant microchip database from the age of 8 weeks. Microchipping is a simple, safe and quick procedure which makes reuniting dogs with their owners much more likely. A microchip is the size of a grain of rice and the procedure, which is carried out by a vet or trained microchip implanter, takes only a few minutes and lasts a lifetime. Your dog’s microchip is given a number, which will show up whenever your dog is scanned. The professional who microchips your dog will also take your contact details. These details are kept alongside the microchip number on a database, so that your dog can be returned to you if it’s lost or stolen
You must make sure that your dog is registered on one of the following databases and that your details are kept up to date if you move house or change your contact details.
You can check the microchip number if you do not know which database your dog is registered on.If you do not have the microchip number, we can scan your dog for it
The Council provides free microchipping for dogs in partnership with Dogs Trust. Appointments can be made for the 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month between 9am to 12 noon. If you are disabled or there is a large group, then home visits can be arranged if necessary. We can also microchip your cat for a small fee of £5. Contact the Animal Welfare Team to make an appointment.
If your dog is not microchipped or your details on the database are not up to date, which if brought to the attention of this authority, you will receive a 21 day notice requiring you to rectify this. Failure to comply with a 21 day notice is an offence and you may face criminal prosecution and a £500 fine if you do not comply with the notice.
What do you do if you find a stray animal or lose a pet?
If you find a stray dog, please report it to us so we can help:
- During office hours Monday to Friday: Call our office on 01642 526575 to arrange collection or you can bring the dog to our holding kennels at Environmental Health,16 Church Road, Stockton on Tees, TS18 1XD. Please telephone in advance to advise us if you intend to bring the the dog to us
- Week day out of office hours: We do not have a collection service out of office hours. Stray dogs can be taken to our 24/7 drop off point at Security and Surveillance Centre, The Square, Stockton (opposite Stockton Baptist Tabernacle). Please telephone 01642 618946 to advise that you have found a stray dog and to arrange to bring the dog to us. Alternatively if you are unable to bring the stray dog to our drop-off point, if safe to do so you can keep the dog overnight and whilst speaking with security staff they will make arrangements for a member of the Animal Welfare Team to collect the dog first thing the next working day.
- Weekend: Again we do not operate a collection service but stray dogs can be taken to our 24/7 drop off point at Security and Surveillance Centre, The Square, Stockton (opposite Stockton Baptist Tabernacle). Please telephone 01642 618946 to advise that you have found a stray dog and to arrange to bring the dog to us. Alternatively if you are unable to bring the stray dog to our drop-off point, if safe to do so you can keep the dog overnight and whilst speaking with security staff they will make arrangements for a member of the Animal Welfare Team to collect the dog first thing the next working day.
You will be asked to provide the following information when reporting that you have found a stray dog:
- Your name and contact details
- A description of the dog, for example its breed, colour, size, age
- The time and date when you found the dog
- Where you found the dog
- Where the dog should be collected from
What to do if you have lost your dog
If you have lost your dog, please report it to us immediately so that we can match it with any found dogs
- During office hours: Call us on 01642 526575 or email [email protected]
- Out of Office Hours / Weekends: Call us on 01642 618946
Occasionally finders of stray dogs do not notify the local authority (which is a legal requirement) and take found dogs to local animal rescues / sanctuaries, vets or post the details on social media so it is also worth checking to see if your dog has been found by a member of the public.
Claiming back a stray dog
Once a dog has been taken into our care as a stray, we will retain the dog for 7 days and owners must claim their dog within this time period. If a dog is not claimed within the first 24 hours then any relevant fees will need to be paid in full before it will be released. When collecting your dog please bring with you proof of your name and address.
Responsible Pet Ownership
If you have any questions or need advice on your respective animal or are considering purchasing an animal, please contact one of our Animal Welfare Officers.
We will give you appropriate guidance and information including diet, behaviour, demands on your time, costs and suitable accommodation, with regards to your specific animal.
We will also be able to put you in touch with other relevant organisations including training classes and owner/support groups.
On top of this we have care leaflets available for the majority of domestic pets, which we will send to you free of charge.
Contact the Animal Welfare team for advice about responsible pet ownership.
Handover of Animals
If you cannot keep your animal, due to illness or because you are unable to give it appropriate care, we offer a confidential handover service for any animal.
We provide this service to prevent unwanted animals being unnecessarily abandoned. We will collect and rehome, where possible, any animal. There is no charge for this service. Please arrange an appointment with us to use this service.
If the animal can not be rehomed then the owner must give permission for that animal to be put to sleep. This is dependent on a variety of factors and will be explained before the animal is signed and handed over to the care of the Animal Welfare Service.
Failure to clean up after your dog is an offence. Under the Dogs (Fouling of Land) Act 1996 authorised Council Officers can issue a £50 Fixed Penalty Notice to anyone that is seen to allow their dog to foul in a public place and not clean it up. Failure to pay the fixed penalty will generally result in prosecution that may lead to the offender being fined up to £1,000.
There are dog waste bins located across the Borough, with new bins installed when funds are available. The bins are emptied and maintained by the Care for Your Area team.
If you would like to report a problem relating to a dog bin please use the online form.
Remember to always take a poop scoop bag out with you whenever you are walking your dog and dispose of it correctly. It is never an acceptable excuse to forget to take a bag with you and not clean up after your pet.