There are times in the local community that for whatever reason, a dog/dogs, will keep getting out of the property where they live, or are allowed to roam free. 
This can be dangerous for the dog and for drivers who come across them on roads in the Borough. 

If you know who the owners are and are able, you can return the dog to its address and explain to the owner that you have found it straying. Sometimes, once it has been returned a few times in this way and the owner been made aware, the situation will be rectified by them improving fencing, blocking escape holes, or just being more vigilant.

However, there will be times, when even though members of the community have regularly taken a dog/dogs back to their home, an owner will not take their responsibility seriously to keep their dogs safe and under control and in this instance, a different approach is required.

If you find a local dog you know to be a repeat escapee and you have it contained, you can either: 

  1. Call Surrey Heath Borough Council Dog Collection service on 01276 707100 (01276 707182 Out of Hours).

    If you know the address of the dog you can pass that to them and they will return the dog to the owner and offer words of advice for the future. 

    If you don't know the address they will collect and look after the dog while an owner is found.

    If no owner comes forward and once any microchip details have been investigated fully, there is a seven day legal waiting period, before the dog is passed to a reputable rescue for rehoming. The dog WILL NOT be put to sleep.

    It is a legal requirement to notify the Dog Warden/Dog Collection service on 01276 707100 (01276 707182 Out of Hours) that you have found a dog, as soon as possible.

  2. Return the dog to the owner and then report the fact that you have taken a known "repeat canine escapee" back home, to SHBC Corporate Enforcement Team, on 01276 707100 during office hours.

    You will need to give your details, as well as any time, date, place found, when returned to the owner and any other information that may be relevant.  

    Your details will be treated as confidential and will not passed on to the owner, but a record of the times the dog/s has been out and returned, will be recorded and the Corporate Enforcement Team can then go and visit the owner and offer words of advice for the future.   

In cases where there is an ongong control issue, ie. the dog or dogs are repeatedly allowed out, or escape and the owner does not take responsibility, the Council may look to issue a Community Protection Notice to the owner.  

A Community Protection Notice (CPN) orders the person responsible for the dog (usually the dog owner) to stop or control its behaviour.

A CPN is usually issued to deal with minor incidents, including when a dog:

  • Strays
  • Causes alarm
  • Damages property
  • Shows it’s capable of aggression

A CPN orders the responsible person to:

  • Stop doing something, e.g. letting the dog into children’s play areas
  • Do specified things, e.g. muzzling the dog
  • Take reasonable steps to get specific results, e.g. mending gaps in fences.

A CPN can last for as long as the authority issuing it believes is necessary (e.g. 2 weeks to fix a fence, or several months to allow someone to attend a training course).

Click here to read more on Community Protection Notices: Guidance - Control Dogs