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Stray Dogs

The law changed as from April 2005 concerning the matter of stray dogs. We have set out below the policy now adopted in the local area. The Police are no longer obliged to accept stray dogs from members of the public (apparently they may, but this is a decision that could be taken at local level). The RSPCA Southport, Ormskirk & District Animal Centre is not allowed to accept stray dogs by law. It is an offence to do so. Please call your Local Authority's Dog Warden Service, number listed below.

During the ‘office hours’ of the Dog Warden Service these would be passed to the Council via the Sefton contact centre (on 0845 140 0845). After 5 pm an outside contractor (Animal Wardens Ltd) have been employed by Sefton, Liverpool, and Halton to carry out this function. Knowsley may also have similar arrangements. This service is run between 5 pm and 11 pm in entirety and then from 11-12 on an emergency basis. West Lancashire dog warden contact No. 01695 577 177. After 5pm this number will transfer you to the West Lancs animal warden service.


The police still have a responsibility towards ‘Dangerous Breeds of Dogs’ AND ‘Dogs out of Control’ and in instances such as these the Animal Warden Call Centre will redirect these callers.

Animal Warden

The ‘Animal Wardens’ will only collect a stray that is 'contained in some way by a member of the public, they will not go out a chase or track down a stray like the Council Dog Wardens will do during the day. This is primarily because the legislation change did not make this a requirement of the out of hour’s service.

The legislation only had local authorities provide an acceptance point for stray dogs to be taken. The Animal Wardens will go to the home of the finder unless they deem it ‘unsafe’ to do so at which point they will meet with the finder at a convenient place to collect the dog.

Strays will then be dealt with as per these procedures - in that: -

1. They are scanned to see if they are micro-chipped if they are they will be returned, the first time they are collected. Subsequently they will be taken to the Local Authority's Kennels.

2. Un-chipped dogs that do not match a description of a ‘lost dog’ will be taken to the Local Authority's Kennels.

3. If any dog can be re-united with its owner then all efforts will be made to do so.

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a Closed Wednesday

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