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Stray dogs

What do I do if I find a stray dog?

Check to see if the dog is wearing any form of identification - if so return him directly to his owner.

Contact the dog warden straight away and arrange for him to collect the dog.

Please remember that rehoming organisations cannot take strays directly off the street or from well-meaning members of the public except under certain emergency situations.

What if I would like to adopt the dog?

Even if you are keen to adopt the dog, you will have to contact the Dog Warden and wait the 7 days period.

The dog warden can then pass on your details to the kennels and if they feel you are suitable you will be expected to go through their normal process if the owner is not found.

If you keep the dog in your home, you must inform the dog warden. Legally you must keep the dog for 28 days after this you can keep the dog until such time that a person with proof of ownership claims him - this means legal ownership is not transferred to you and the original owner may demand the dog back at any time, no matter how long you have kept him or how much money you have spent on him.

Why is it not advisable to look after the dog in my own home?

The law requires you to tell the dog warden if you take in a stray dog. If you don't, you could be accused of theft.

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I have lost my dog

We recognise that losing your dog can be a traumatic experience, the Dog Warden may have picked up your dog and taken it to West Hall Kennels.

If you have lost your dog you should call West Hall Kennels to see if your dog has been taken there on 0191 5292369. Please call during these times Monday - Saturday 9am - 6pm, Sunday 9am - 12noon.

Any dog that's unsupervised in a public place may be taken by us. If the dog has a tag with contact details, or is microchipped, we will try to contact the owner. If the dog can't be taken straight home it will be taken to West Hall Kennels.

If your dog is at West Hall Kennels you will need to pay a fee to get it out. The relevant fees are on the West Hall Kennels website.

View the kennels opening times.

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I have found a dog

If you find a stray dog you are can either return the dog to the owner if you know who it is or request that the Dog Warden collects it. If you found a dog, you can contact the City and neighbourhood team.

We will arrange for our dog warden to collect the dog as soon as we can and try to reunite it with its owner.

Our dog warden service operates between 8.30am - 4.00pm, Monday - Friday only

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Dangerous dogs

A dangerous dog is one that has already attacked, or puts a person in genuine fear for their safety, or the safety of others.

It can be hard to define a vicious dog, as it may simply be scared or hungry, or feels under threat.

What you can do

If a dog has bitten somebody, attacked another dog or seems likely to attack, you should report it immediately to the Police on 101.

They will need to know or find out who owns the dog that is believed to be dangerous before they can take action.

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Dog owners are legally required to have their dogs' microchipped so that if they become lost they can safely be reunited.

A microchip is a small electronic chip, around the size of a grain of rice, which is implanted under the dog's skin and contains a unique number that can be read by a scanner.

The dog owner's contact details relating to each number are logged on a central database, so should the dog ever go missing or be stolen it can be scanned by the authorities and returned to his owner swiftly and safely. It is vital that the owner takes responsibility for updating their details with the database should their circumstances change.

If your dog is found by the police or local authorities not to have a microchip, they will explain the benefits to you and give you a short period to comply with the law. If you do not comply, you will face a fine of up to £500.

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If you would like any further information you might find the links below useful:

RSPCA - microchipping

Frequently asked questions about microchipping

The National Database for lost and found dogs

Lost and found database for microchipped pets

Facebook Animals LOST & FOUND in Gateshead, Newcastle, South Tyneside and Sunderland

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