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Your own safety is paramount, do NOT attempt to mess around with any dog that is showing signs of aggression or is fearful. 

If you have children please do NOT allow them to play with a found dog, its from an unknown background and may not like children.

If your found dog appears friendly towards other animals still be observant. And remember the found dog may have an underlying illness so unless your pets are fully vaccinated, please keep them apart.

If the found dog is wearing a collar, check for a tag with owners details. Also check for handwritten contact details on the actual collar inside and out. If you are fortunate enough to find contact info, please call the owners a.s.a.p.

Carefully check for tattoo markings on the inside and outside of the dogs ears. Maybe worth checking the inner rear thighs too. Again remember your safety is paramount.

You have done everything physically possible to find the owner yourself now you have to seek the help of a vet. Take the found dog to any vet to check for a microchip. This should be free of charge. If a chip is found the vet will contact a microchip database to access owner contact information.

No chip, no tattoo, no collar/tag - time to call the dog warden!

Please contact the local council offices for the area in which the dog was found.

Contact local stray kennels and ask them to check their register for any possible matches.

Look out in local shops and newspapers for missing dog posters. Place a found posters adverts in shops and newspapers.

Once you have exhausted all lines of enquiry, do not be tempted to keep the stray without consultation with the local area dog warden. You could face prosecution and a hefty fine.

Many finders do not notify dog wardens because they fear a dog will be put to sleep once it goes into kennels. All stray dogs are entitled to 7 clear waiting days before their future can be decided. Remember if an owner is looking for their dog, the first place they will visit is their local stray kennels.

After the 7 waiting days, a dog maybe either rehomed or put to sleep. Most kennels in our region only put dogs to sleep for medical reasons and on a vets recommendation or a dog showing signs of severe aggression. They maybe left with no alternative when they have attempted all avenues of rehoming, it really is not fair on a dog to be kennelled indefinitely.

If you wish to keep a found dog, you can do so with the consent of the dog warden. You will be required by law to keep the dog for a period of one month. However, after the one month passes, you will NOT become the legal owner. The true owner can request the return of their dog at any time, they only have to provide you with "reasonable costs".

If you want to keep the dog. but choose to allow the dog its 7 clear waiting days in kennels. You can ask the dog warden to allow the dog to be returned to you. Some councils will "gift" the dog to the finder (free from charge) however others may charge an adoption fee. Once the dog has cleared its 7 clear waiting day, the dog legally becomes yours.

Please do NOT assume that every stray is an abandoned dog. Unlike the TV adverts, there may be an owner actually looking for the dog that you have found. Also do not assume an owner is irresponsible, accidents do happen.

REUNITING A STRAY DOG - Should you be contacted by a person that claims to be the stray dogs owner, obtain proof that they actually own the dog. Sadly, there are people that attempt to reclaim strays that do not actually belong to them. If you are not 100% certain that the person is the owner, then contact the area dog warden to collect the stray and let the authorities verify the potential owner and reunite

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