Animal welfare

Lost and found pet?

Hammersmith & Fulham Council provides a Dog Warden Service which collects stray dogs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

What to do if you find a stray dog

We will collect stray dogs that are confined and under your direct control and care.

To arrange a collection please call: 

  • 03444 828 346 - operational 7 days a week, 24 hours a day

When a lost or stray dog is collected by the Dog Warden Service, all reasonable steps are taken to contact the owner. If we cannot identify the owner, the dog is taken to kennels. Suitable dogs not claimed within seven days are re-homed.

Lost dogs

If you have lost your dog and think they may have been collected by the Dog Warden Service, please visit www.lostdogsuk.co.uk - this website has details of found dogs.

Details of dogs collected by the council are uploaded to the Lost Dogs UK website within 24 hours.

You can also call the service on 03444 828 300 (during office hours) and a member of staff will be able to check the website for you.

Getting your dog back

Microchipping makes it quicker and easier to reunite dogs with their owners. If your dog has a chip, or is wearing a tag containing your contact details, we can often return your pet straight away at no cost to you.

If we can’t get in contact with you, your dog will have to be taken to kennels at a cost of £17 per night.  There are also administration costs (£50) for any dog take into our care, so getting a microchip is a good investment.

If we have collected your dog and taken them to our kennels, call 03444 828 300 (during office hours) to get them back.

You will be asked to provide:

  • proof of residential address (for example, utility bill); and
  • proof of ownership (for example, kennel club registration, family pet photo, vet bill).

Dog theft

Dog theft is an ongoing problem, and the number of dogs being stolen at the moment is on the increase. It must be heartbreaking to lose your pet, especially if they have been stolen as you don’t know what might happen to them. There are some things you can do to reduce the chance of your dog being stolen. Give your dog the best chance of staying safe by taking on board some of the tips below.

  • How to prevent your dog being stolen

    Keep an eye on your dog at all times

    The most important thing to do is keep an eye on your dog at all times. When you are out in public make sure you know where they are, and if they can’t be trusted off the lead then don’t risk it. Keep your dog on your property when you are at home, don’t let them wander around the neighbourhood.

    Secure your garden

    Only leave your dog in your garden if it is secure. It’s worth checking fences for gaps and getting gates put in to keep your dog enclosed. You don’t want them to be able to escape, or anyone to get into your garden easily.

    Don’t leave your dog in your car

    If you leave your dog in your car with the windows down then they are a sitting target to thieves. They can easily force open windows or reach in and grab your dog, it only takes a few seconds.

    Don’t leave your dog outside shops

    For a long time it has been a common sight to see a dog tied up outside a shop. Due to the increase in dog theft, and some dogs being stolen in this situation, it’s probably best to refrain from doing it. If you have to walk to the shops with your dog take someone with you to sit outside with them.

    Report any incidents

    If you see any suspicious behaviour or people come up to you and start asking strange questions about your dog, report it. You could prevent an incident from happening in the first place.

    Be wary of strangers

    Be wary of anyone who comes to your front door, or admires your dog in the park. Do not let them hold your dog or take photo’s with them, it could just be a way of distracting you.

    Collars, tags & microchips

    Your dog must have a collar with an ID tag on it. Put your second name, phone number and address. Do not put your dog’s name on the tag, as someone trying to steal them will try and call their name to get them to come over. Get your dog microchipped and state on their tag that they are microchipped. Microchipping is compulsory for every dog from 6 April 2016. Certified working dogs are exempt.

    Keep your documents safe

    Keep all your dog’s insurance and important documents somewhere safe. That way you can easily access them in an emergency.

    Check up on dog walkers or sitters

    Don’t just hand your dog over to anyone, even if you get a recommendation from a friend it’s worth doing a background check. Try and find out if they are registered with any bodies and whether or not they have any qualifications.

    Fit alarms or bells

    Get alarms installed or bells fitted to your garden gates so that they will alert you to any intruders. They might also put off any potential dog thieves.

    Train excellent recall

    Take the time to train your dog to come back to you on command. This will help if you need to get them to come back to you quickly, if you think they are in danger. It also means they are less likely to run off on walks and in public places.

Dog problems?

For advice on animal welfare please contact The Mayhew Animal Home on 020 8969 0178.

Animal welfare licensing

Information and advice on applying for an animal welfare licence for boarding establishments, dangerous wild animals, dog breeding, pet shops and riding establishments or registering performing animals.

Animal welfare licensing

Microchipping of dogs 

By law, if your dog is over eight weeks old, it must be microchipped. This became law on 6 April 2016. There's one exception for microchipping - certified working dogs are exempt.

Reuniting lost dogs with their owners is much easier if the dogs are microchipped. Vets usually charge about £15 for this.

Your dog's full details (name, age, gender, breed, description) and your full name, address and phone number must be recorded on the database.

If the keeper is also the breeder this should be recorded on the database. If a breeder sells a dog over eight weeks old it must be chipped before they sell it, with the details showing them as the first recorded keeper of the puppy.

If a dog is transferred to a new keeper, the new keeper must record changes in details on the relevant database. You can't transfer a dog to a new keeper until it has been microchipped.

If your dog isn't microchipped, you could be fined up to £500.

There's more information available at microchipping on GOV.UK.

The Control of Dogs Order (1992)

All dogs must wear a collar and an identity tag in a public place. The identity tag must show the name and address of the owner. Failure to do this could lead to a £5,000 fine. Your dog must still wear an identity tag even if it is micro-chipped. Dogs not wearing a collar or tag can be seized, even if the owner is present.

Dangerous Dogs Act (1991)

The Dangerous Dogs Act (1991), as amended in 1997:

  • prohibits people from having in their possession dogs belonging to types bred for fighting (Pit Bull Terrier, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentiono, Fila Braziliero)
  • imposes restrictions in respect of such dogs
  • enables restrictions to be imposed in relation to other types of dog which present a serious danger to the public
  • makes further provision for securing that dogs are kept under proper control.

Animal Welfare Act (2006)

Under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 you commit an offence if you cause or take part (are present) in an animal fight. This can lead to imprisonment and a fine up to £20,000. The act provides protection for animals. You must tend to the needs of an animal for which you are responsible to the extent required by good practice. You commit an offence if you cause an animal to suffer. The act provides for certain specific enforcement powers for the police and inspectors including the power of entry, inspection and search and the power to seize documents.

Environmental Protection Act (1990)

If a dog barks excessively (so as to be a statutory nuisance in law) the dog owner can be served with a legal enforcement notice requiring abatement of the noise. If the notice is not complied with the council can prosecute the owner and/or confiscate the dog. We have the power to seize stray dogs and put them in kennels. You will have to pay a charge to have the dog returned. This may include kennel costs, detention costs and a prescribed amount (currently £25). If you do not claim the dog within seven days of us seizing it, it becomes our property. We can give the dog a new home or destroy it. Under this act we must keep a register of dogs seized or brought to us.