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Stratford-on-Avon District Council
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Dog Warden Services

DOG WARDEN SERVICES

A designated Dog Warden is employed from Monday to Friday to deliver a professional service to promote responsible dog ownership and enforce existing legislation by:

  • Responding to all complaints as soon as possible.
  • Collection and return of stray dogs; where strays are microchipped or wearing visible ID and information is up-to-date, every attempt will be made by the Dog Warden to reunite them with their owners (free of charge). Please note, if a dog is seized on more than one occasion, the dog will be impounded and owners will be charged.
  • Transfer of stray dogs with no visible ID or microchip to Birmingham Dogs Home to serve the statutory seven day holding period. Owners reclaiming their dogs during this period will be charged a £25 admin fee, along with daily kennelling fees. This is payable to Birmingham Dogs Home upon collection of the dog. Once their suitability has been assessed, dogs that have not claimed within the statutory holding period will become available for rehoming.
  • Promotion of responsible dog ownership through patrols; interaction with dog-owners and dog-walkers; and talks to local groups.
  • Enforcement of dog-related by-laws and The Fouling of Land by Dogs (District of Stratford-on-Avon) Order 2009, which may result in the issuing of Fixed Penalty Notices.
  • Signposting customers to relevant services where applicable (such as Environmental Health, Streetscene).
  • Working in conjunction with a range of external professionals and agencies including local veterinary practices, Orbit Housing, the Police, RSPCA, K9 Search UK, DogLost and rescue and rehoming establishments.

The Dog Warden can be contacted by calling 01789 260839 between 08:45 and 17:10 Monday to Wednesday and 08:45 to 17:00 Thursday and Friday. A message will be taken by a member of the Contact Centre and the Dog Warden will be notified in due course. Please note: stray dogs need to be contained in order for the Dog Warden to collect.

DOG OWNERS - THE LAW

The Control of Dogs Order 1992 states that ‘any dog in a public place should wear the name and address of the owner either inscribed on the collar or name plate or disc attached to it'. A telephone number is optional but advisable. Remember, this is your pet's fastest ticket back home should they go missing. Dog ownership is a privilege that must be taken seriously.

From 6 April 2016, all dog owners will be required to have their dogs microchipped and registered on one of the authorised commercial databases. Failure to comply could lead to a £500 fine. As part of this, dog owners are required to register the details of any new owner before they sell or give their dog away. Dog owners will also need to keep their contact details up to date on the microchip database.

DANGEROUS DOGS

The amended Dangerous Dogs Act came into effect on 13 May 2014. This law applies to every single dog owner in England and Wales, regardless of the dog's size or breed. Under Section 3, it is a criminal offence for the person in charge of the dog to allow it to be ‘dangerously out of control' in a public place. A dog does not have to bite to be deemed dangerous in the eyes of the law. Generally if a dog bites a person, it will be presumed to have been ‘dangerously out of control', however even if the dog does not bite, but gives the person grounds to feel that the dog may injure them, the law still applies.

If you have been attacked by a dog, please contact the Police. Dog on dog attacks are strictly a civil matter between the owners of the two or more respective dogs, please note Stratford District council does not deal with dog on dog attacks.

Under the Act it is against the law to own certain types of dog, namely the Pit Bull Terrier, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino and Fila Braziliero, without a court exemption. However; the Act judges dogs according to their ‘type' rather than their specific breed. Therefore the Act also covers those having significant physical characteristics of the aforementioned breeds. It is up to the courts to decide the inclusion or exclusion of any particular dog from coverage by the act, and every dog is judged individually on a case-by-case basis.

Significant controversy continues to surround this ruling and the extent of the law's effectiveness. Regardless of personal stance, you are required to comply. When looking for a new dog or puppy, do not take risks; stay legal and stay safe.

DOG BREEDING

Dog breeders who breed five or more litters a year must be licensed under the Breeding and Sale of Dogs (Welfare) Act 1999. Those who are not in the business of breeding dogs for sale (“hobby breeders") and produce less than five litters in any period of 12 months do not need a licence.

The local council has the discretion whether to grant a licence and, before doing so, must satisfy itself that:

  • the animals are provided with suitable accommodation, food, water and bedding material
  • are adequately exercised and visited at suitable intervals
  • that all reasonable precautions are taken to prevent and control the spread of diseases amongst dogs

Local councils are responsible for enforcing the legislation. In addition to ensuring that dogs are kept in suitable accommodation, the law also places limits on the frequency and timing of breeding from a bitch. Bitches cannot be mated before they are a year old, must have no more than 6 litters in a lifetime and can only have one litter every 12 months. Breeding records must be kept to ensure that these requirements are adhered to. Puppies that are produced at licensed breeding establishments can only be sold at those premises or a licensed pet shop.