West Lancashire Borough Council Homepage

Stray Dogs

What is classed as a stray?

If a dog is allowed out in a public place and is not under the handler's direct control, i.e. on a lead or under the close control of the handler, it is classed as a stray and could be collected by the Council's Collection Service.

Please look after your dog carefully, you should not let it out, even if it is only for a short time. A stray dog can be a danger to itself and others and risks collection by the Council's Collection Service. Persistent offenders also risk increased reclamation fees and/or prosecution.


How to report a stray dog

You can report a stray dog in two ways:
  • If you want to report a dog that is currently straying, contact Customer Services on 01695 577177. (Please note our 'out of hours' service details below).
  • To report a dog that is not currently straying, but is a regular problem use the Stray Dog online form

When reporting a stray dog, please provide as much information as possible to help the Council's Collection Service, such as:

  • Location of the dog
  • Description of the dog - breed, size and colour
  • Date and time when the dog was seen
  • Was the dog injured or in danger e.g. roaming near a busy road
  • Was the dog showing any signs of aggression
  • Any information regarding the dog's owner

If you are unable to provide this information, it will reduce our chances of finding the dog, and we will endeavour to find the animal as part of our routine patrols.


What happens to a stray and lost dogs?

Stray dogs found within the district are taken to Leigh Dogs and Cats Home (external link), where they are cared for until they can be reunited with their owners. The Council is obliged to keep all stray dogs for a maximum of 7 days. If any dog is not claimed within the 7 day period, then the dog can be re-homed.

Leigh Dogs and Cats Home is located at Graveoak, East Lancashire Road, Leigh, Lancashire WN7 3SE. Tel: 01942 671215.

Please note that a charge is made to all owners/keepers for the return of their dog from the kennels. Owners who claim their dogs within the 7 day period must pay a reclamation of £85.00. If you allow your dog(s) to repeatedly stray, you may face an increased charge of £135.00.


Out of hours stray dogs

From the 6 April 2008, the Council took full responsibility for stray dogs.


The Council has teamed up with Leigh Dogs and Cats Home to provide an out of office hours service so anyone who has found and holds a stray dog can call the Council’s main switchboard on 01695 577177 to arrange collection. Alternatively, Leigh Dogs and Cats Home can be contacted directly on 07786 118088.


Calls can be received up to 9.00pm in the evening on weekdays and between 8.00am-7.00pm at weekends and Bank Holidays.


This means that anyone who finds a stray dog can contact the Council, who will then arrange for the dog to be collected directly from the finder. This service aims to respond to every case within an hour, but the finder must remain with the stray dog.


Dogs collected out of hours are taken to Leigh Dogs and Cats Home for the statutory 7 day period.

Last Updated: 1/7/2014

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West Lancashire Borough Council, 52 Derby Street, Ormskirk, West Lancashire L39 2DF
Tel: 01695 577177 | Email: customer.services@westlancs.gov.uk