Report a Stray Dog

Can I keep a stray dog?

You are legally required to notify the nearest Police Station or Dog Warden when you (the finder) find a stray dog.  However, it is possible to retain the dog.  The Dog Warden will visit you and fill in form that requires you to keep the dog at your address for a period of 28 days, but to hand the dog over to the original owner if they come to claim the dog. 

If during the 28 day period you decide that you do not wish to keep the dog you must hand the dog to the Dog Warden. You are not allowed to give it to a friend or relative. In the case of a dog being retained by finder, the dog legally remains 'found property' and the original owner can reclaim it at any time. 

If the original owner comes forward after the 28 day period expires ownership becomes a civil matter and a court will decide ownership. As is technically the case for all lost and found property.

Therefore, the dog never truly becomes the property of the finder.