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Bournemouth Borough Council employs one full time Animal Welfare Officer, who is responsible for enforcing relevant legislation and byelaws, which deal with issues arising from the keeping of dogs as pets.
The Animal Welfare Officer investigates reports of dog fouling and takes prosecutions as necessary. The Animal Welfare Officer responds to complaints regarding stray dogs and every effort is made to reunite them with their owners. Reports of dangerous dogs or complaints where someone has been bitten by a dog should be reported to the Police in the first instance. The Animal Welfare Officer also responds to complaints of barking dogs.
The Animal Welfare Officer is not responsible for the mistreatment or neglect of dogs. If you are concerned about the treatment of a dog you should contact the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999.
The Animal Welfare Officer is happy to offer advice in the following areas:
Control of Dogs|
If you lose your dog then you should report it to the Animal Welfare Service on 01202 451306 during office hours as soon as possible - you will be asked for details on the type of dog, colour, sex and where and when it was lost. You will be asked if the dog has a collar and tag on as well.
These details will be recorded in a register and any dogs picked up or reported to the council as found will be checked against the register. You will be contacted when/if your dog is found. Please let the Animal Welfare Service know if you find the dog.
The Animal Welfare service can be contacted on 01202 451306 during office hours of 08:30 to 17:15 Monday to Thursday and 08:30 – 16:45 Friday. There are no provisions to provide a stray Found/Lost service outside of these times during the week and you are advised to contact the Animal Welfare Officer on the next working day. during office hours of . There are no provisions to provide a stray Found/Lost service outside of these times during the week and you are advised to contact the Animal Welfare Officer on the next working day.
Found or Lost dogs Out of Hours on a Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays can be reported to the Bournemouth Borough Council’s Central Control Room, Building Maintenance number on 08000 281870 during the hours of 09:00 to 16:30. There are no provisions at this time for Bournemouth Borough Council to provide a stray dog service outside these times during the week and weekends. Please note that the Kennels will not collect the dog from you.
Please note: The Police no longer take responsibility for stray dogs and will not accept them at the Police station
How Much Will It Cost? If your dog is seized by the Council there is a charge to get the dog back.
View our current fees and charges|.
These fees must be paid for in full before a dog will be released back to its owner.
Where and how can I pay for the release of my dog?
You can pay at the Town Hall Council Offices, St Stephen’s Road
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If you find a dog you should contact the Animal Welfare Service on 01202 451306 during office hours - these details will be recorded in a register and checked against the record of lost dogs to see if there is a match. If no owner has come forward or the owner is not contactable the Animal Welfare Officer will endeavour to collect the dog that same day. The dog will be taken to secure kennels and cared for until the owner is found or contacted.
The owner will be advised that the dog has been found and that there are fees to pay before the dog will be returned to them. These fees include the cost of seizure of the dog by the dog warden, vaccination by a veterinary surgeon and kenneling fees, which are charged on a daily basis.
If no owner comes forward or they decide not to claim the dog, then it is kept for 7 full days, following which it is legally signed over to be rehomed. No dogs are put to sleep except in exceptional circumstances.
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The Animal Health Act 1981 (as amended) makes it an offence to allow a dog in a public place not wearing a collar and tag bearing the owners identity. It is essential to ensure that the contact details are kept up to date.
If your dog is lost and returned to you and it has no collar then you will be sent a letter advising you to get a collar and tag. If the dog if found out with no collar and tag a further time then you may be liable to appear in the Magistrates Court where on conviction the maximum fine is £5000.
It is not a legal requirement to have your dog micro chipped. The Animal Welfare Officer has a scanner but this not always effective as microchips move around inside the dog. Even if your dog is micro chipped you MUST also ensure that your dog wears a collar and tag when out in public.
It is a fact of life that dogs will foul at some stage when they are out in public places. Responsible dog owners should automatically clear the mess up. Sadly this is not always the case.
Within the Borough of Bournemouth all made up public highways and council owned parks and open spaces are subject to a byelaw requiring the owner to pick up after their dog. There are information stickers throughout the borough, informing people that they are in a poop scoop area, however it is best to assume at all times that you are in a poop scoop area even if there are no stickers.
If you have a problem with excessive fouling in your area then contact the Animal Welfare Service on 01202 451306. You will be required to give us information relating to fouling including, days, times, description of the dog/ owners details and address if known.
If the Animal Welfare Officer witnesses a dog being allowed to foul and the mess is not immediately removed by the person responsible for the dog, the Animal Welfare Officer may issue a fixed penalty notice of £50.00. If the fixed penalty notice is not paid the matter will be referred to the Magistrates Court where the maximum fine is up to £1000.
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All dogs will periodically bark, however if the dog is left alone for long periods of time or it is bored then it will bark for long periods of time. This can cause annoyance and distress to neighbours. To read the Government advice leaflet "Is your dog barking too much?"|
If you have a problem with a barking dog the first thing you should do is talk with the owner, who may not be aware that the dog barking is causing a problem. If this does not work then contact the dog warden service on 01202 451306..
You will be sent noise record sheets. These sheets are needed to determine how often, how long and when the dog barks. If the records show that the barking is possibly a nuisance based on the frequency and duration of the barking then further investigations will be carried out. The dog wardens will visit the owner and discuss the problem, the details of who complains to us are kept fully confidential.
In extreme cases legal action can be taken against the owner of the dogs if they are unwilling to address the problem. This can result in a fine on conviction of up to £5,000 per offence.
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Dog owners are responsible for ensuring that their dogs are kept under proper control so as not to cause a nuisance or a danger to people or other animals. Owners should know how their dog will behave when coming across people and animals it is not familiar with.
If your dog is aggressive or hard to control then in order to prevent it harming or annoying other people or their animals you should consider keeping it on a lead and muzzling it if necessary. It is essential to get your dog trained and to follow any recommendations by your vet.
Where a dog is dangerously out of control in a public place, and has injured someone or another dog, our Officers may be able to take action to deal with the incident to prevent it happening again. This is not possible in cases where no details are provided about the name and address of the owners of any dogs involved in such incidents.
It is an offence to own or keep the following dog types unless they are on the index of exempted dogs and comply with its requirements.
Should you have one of these types of dogs it must be on the index of exempt dogs and kept in accordance with its requirements including keeping it on a lead and muzzled when in a public place. For more information see ‘The Control of Dogs’ in the Animal Welfare section of Defra's website|.
If you do not meet these requirements you may be found guilty of a criminal offence and a Court may order the animal to be destroyed.
Dog attacks and aggression
Should you or your dog be attacked by another dog please report the matter to our Animal Health Officers on 01202 451309 or email Animalhealth@bournemouth.gov.uk|. You may be required to give a witness statement for use in court.
We do not have the power to force dog owners whose dog has injured your animal to pay your vet bills.
Dog owners should be aware that if their dog has been proved to be dangerous and not under proper control the court can issue a control order forcing the dog owner to keep the dog on a lead or muzzled at all times. It is only in very extreme cases that a dog will be destroyed. If your dog has injured another person the courts have the power to imprison its owner and disqualify them from owning a dog for as long as they think necessary.
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