As you may know, the new microchipping laws come into force today where all dog owners must ensure their dog is microchipped with the correct contact details or face a fine. One of the aims of this new rule is to help reunite lost dogs, so it was somewhat ironic we were called to our local village shop yesterday as a stray dog had been found. Was the dog microchipped? Was the dog reunited with the owner? What should you do if you find a stray dog? Read on and we’ll tell you all you need to know…



One of the hardest parts when coming into contact with a stray dog is encouraging him/her to come with you, so a big ‘Well Done’ to the shop worker who secured the dog initially, especially as there was no collar or lead which also made it impossible to trace an owner immediately. Do bear in mind you should never put yourself or others in danger though and always approach a stray dog with caution. They’re likely to be stressed and as with any stressful situation, even the sweetest dog can be unpredictable. Thankfully in this case the dog couldn’t have been any friendlier!

As a supermarket isn’t an ideal location for a dog, the dog was taken a few doors down to another shop and this is when we were called to help. With a stray dog, it may be tempting to think “I’ll just keep him / her” but it is a legal requirement to report a dog which has been found. Remember in many cases, a stray dog may already be part of a family, so always think of them and the law and report the dog to your local dog warden via your Council. This was done immediately but the dog warden was already dealing with lots of dogs, so we offered to take the dog to a local veterinary practice to be scanned for a microchip, with the hope a reunion could take place quickly! With agreement from the dog warden, this is what we did!


We arrived at the veterinary practice and the microchip scanner was placed over the dog to check whether a microchip was registered. Despite the law soon coming into force, this dog was NOT microchipped. The scanner was tried a second time but the same result applied; no registered owner. There was a collective lurch of the stomach when we realised no reunion would be taking place any time soon. So there we were. Standing with a stray dog. The local veterinary practice wouldn’t take the dog while we tried to trace the owner and the dog couldn’t come home with us (for a reason we can’t reveal at the moment as it may need to be used to help identify the dog).

Please note: In any case, after notifying the dog warden, should you decide to keep a dog with you the dog must remain with you for 28 days, after which you can keep the dog (but should the original owner return at any time, the dog must be returned to them i.e you still won’t have legal ownership even after 28 days). This can only occur if adopted via the dog warden (crazy!)

We were therefore left with only one option. With a heavy heart, we made another call to the dog warden…


No dog should have to endure time in a kennel but in these circumstances, this is often the best option. Local charities won’t take on a dog unless it has been with a local dog warden and unclaimed after 7 days, at which point the dog will either be:

  1. Transferred to a local charity
  2. Adopted by the individual who found the dog
  3. Worst scenario, put to sleep.

The latter won’t occur with the dog we helped as we will be liaising with the dog warden for updates and will take matters from there. Hating the thought of this sweet dog being in kennels, we circulated the dog’s basic details across social media (small photo and where the dog was found). It is important only minimal information is provided to avoid just anyone from claiming the dog. Keep key facts private and ask anyone who comes forward to provide a detailed description and then direct them to the dog warden, who are best placed to determine the rightful owners. We have been thoroughly pleased with the support received online so far and there is already someone who may know who the dog belongs to so the dog warden’s details have been provided. We will keep you updated and in the meantime, please think positive thoughts for this truly lovely dog…







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