If You Have Found a Stray Dog

These things have helped our members reunite many a poor pooch very quickly

– Post a picture on our Facebook page immediately, giving gender and where found – we have been able to reunite dogs with their owners quickly just via our pages.
– Take him to a vet to scan for a microchip, so you can contact his owners asap. All vets can scan a dog. Goddards in Wanstead are open 24-hours and The Vet Waltham Forest is open from 8am till 8pm on weekdays, and from 8am till 4pm on weekends. Some members of our group have scanners and may be able to come to you.
– Check the ‘Dogs Lost’ section of www.DogLost.co.uk and (if yours is not there) register him in ‘Dogs Found’. Owners often find their dogs through the page, and the amazing dog lost volunteers will get into action with posters, etc.
– Log the dog with Waltham Forest’s Dog Enforcement Team (DET) by calling the council’s call centre: 020 8496 3000 (make sure you get a reference ‘T’ number for further enquiries).  Informing the DET is a legal requirement, and owners will call them when searching for their lost dog. You can follow up on your logged phone call by emailing dogteam@walthamforest.gov.uk with the ‘T’ number, however the initial report must be made with our call centre for the report to be logged.
– Call round all the local vets and neighbouring boroughs’ dog wardens, in case they’ve had a frantic owner in touch.
– If you think your found dog might be BSL-type, speak to DDA Watch: www.DDA.org.uk.


If the owner isn’t found straight away

– When you inform the council’s DET, they will ask to come to you and take the dog to their kennels. If not reunited hewill stay with them for a statutory period seven days and then be rehomed through a charity, or in some cases put to sleep.

– In our experience, despite claiming a 24/7 service the DET doesn’t come out at the weekend or evenings. If you find a dog at these times, and you cannot get hold of the DET and cannot keep him overnight yourself, post on our page – very often someone will volunteer to take him in.

– The only charity who is able take in stray dogs straight away is Battersea Cats and Dogs Home. They are a tube+bus ride away from Walthamstow Central.

– If you want to keep a stray dog you have found then he doesn’t need to go kennels. You must inform the DET and then keep him for a month, without neutering or microchipping, in order to return it to the owner if found during that time. The relevant legislation is the Environmental Protection Act 1990, 150 – 1-3 & 5.
If handing a dog to the DET, consider:
– If not reunited, many dogs are handed to a charity for rehoming after seven days.

– Other dogs will be put to sleep. To encourage the former, make daily phone calls as to the welfare of the dog. If we know about it, WF4Dogs will make contact with them to urge this too.

– In the past, when a stray was a very young puppy the DET took him straight to the rehoming charity they use to spend his statutory period. If you think this might benefit your found dog, do make sure they know of this.

– The DET charge the owner for reuniting them with their dog.
If you want to keep the dog, consider:
– Are you are the best person to offer the dog a home. Does he get on with your existing dog(s)? Will he get on with the rest of your family (animal and human)? He has lost his family, so will likely be in some distress – will you have to leave him for periods of time? Moving him between carers will add to any distress too.

– While the dog is in your care, you will be liable if he attacks a human or other animal.

– You have to keep the dog for a period of one month before you can hand him over to a third party, and no medical procedures (including microchipping) can be carried out during this time.

– After that month period, if you want to rehome him we always recommend doing this through a rescue charity. It may not be easy to negotiate support as rescue organisations are already so stretched.

– It is important to consider what your back-up plan would be if the new home doesn’t work out.

– If the owner comes forward, you will need to hand him back.