A stray dog is a dog unsupervised in a public place, regardless of whether they have visible identification or have been microchipped. Where strays are found, if practicable (for example where the dog has been detained) we will seize the dog. If the dog cannot be immediately returned to their owner, they must be taken to kennels where they are held for a mandatory period of seven clear days after seizure.

We will make every attempt to reunite a stray dog with their owners if it is microchipped or has visible identification (and the details are up-to-date). A £25 fine, set by central government, is payable prior to the dog being returned. Dogs without visible identification and no microchip will be transferred directly to Birmingham Dogs Home where they will be held for up to seven days. Owners wishing to reclaim their dog during this time will need to provide evidence of ownership and pay the £25 stray dog fine, plus daily kennelling fees (currently £12 per day). Any necessary emergency veterinary treatment will also need to be paid by you. Costs are payable to Birmingham Dogs Home upon collection of the dog.

The new Microchipping legislation requires all dogs (over the age of eight weeks) to be microchipped. Upon collection of your dog, you will be advised to have your dog microchipped. If you decide against this, you will be served with a notice, requiring you to have your dog microchipped within 21 days. If you fail to comply with the notice, you will be liable to pay a fine of £500.

We work in conjunction with DogLost and K9 Search UK to maximise the chances of stray dogs being reunited with their rightful owners.

Stray Dog Service

We will attend to stray dogs on the same day of the notification or as soon as possible during the following hours:

  • Monday to Thursday: 08:45 to 15:00
  • Friday: 08:45 to 12:00

Out of Hours Procedure

If you have found a dog after these times, or on a Saturday, you are permitted to transport the dog to Birmingham Dogs Home yourself. Birmingham Dogs Home is located at Catherine-de-Barnes Lane, Catherine-de-Barnes, Solihull, B92 0DJ. You could also ask your local veterinary practice if they would scan the dog to see if it is microchipped and can be reunited with its owners.

If transporting the dog to Birmingham Dogs Home is not an option, or if the dog is not microchipped, we would appeal to you to hold the dog overnight if it is safe to do so.

Please note, it is no longer the responsibility of the police to accept stray dogs and they should not be taken to police stations. The police does, however, retain its duties with regard to dangerous dogs.

Lost Dogs

Birmingham Dogs Home holds a register of missing dogs. If you have lost your dog within the District of Stratford-on-Avon, please contact Birmingham Dogs Home on 0121 643 5211. They will be able to tell you whether your dog has been impounded, along with the reclaiming process and any costs incurred. If your dog is not impounded, a description of the dog will be taken and the details logged.

If your dog is not at Birmingham Dogs Home, you may wish to contact DogLost on 0844 8003220. In addition, you can register your dog as missing with K9 Search UK or by calling 07988 433187. You are also advised to contact dog wardens covering neighbouring areas in case your dog has crossed a border and been taken to a different pound.

Dog warden contacts

Other useful contacts

Unclaimed Strays

Stray dogs are kept for up to seven clear days after seizure. If they are not claimed ownership of the dog transfers automatically to Birmingham Dogs Home. At this point, the former owner of the stray dog has no legal claim for the return of the animal. Once their suitability has been assessed, dogs will become available for rehoming and will appear on the Birmingham Dogs Home website.

Dogs are only put to sleep if they pose a danger to the public, are extremely ill or have suffered severe injuries and euthanasia is recommended by a veterinary surgeon to relieve suffering; or where the dog is recognised as a type of dog banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.


For further information, please contact Environmental Health:

Contact: The Environmental Health team

Last updated on 16/11/2023