Stray and found dogs

  • any dog found wandering unaccompanied in a public place, is classed as a stray and will be dealt with by the Animal Wardens.
  • a dog that you have taken in and are caring for, is classed as a found dog.

Report a stray or found dog

Strays are seized and detained at the kennels until the owner claims them. After 8 days, the dog becomes the property of the kennels and can be re-homed.

Your assistance in reporting to us any stray dogs is vital to help us keep the streets and public areas safe, clean and hygienic. The more detail you can provide when reporting this, will help us to successfully collect the dog.

You will be asked for details such as:

  • where and when the dog was last seen
  • if it is still in the same location or what direction is it heading in
  • the colour, size and breed
  • if you know who owns it or where it lives

If the dog is still straying, the Animal Wardens will attend between 9am and 4pm, and wherever possible, within 30 minutes of it being reported, to attempt to seize the dog.

Possession of a stray dog

If you have found a stray and taken it home, please check to see if the dog is wearing a collar and/or tag, giving details of the owner's name and address. If this is the case, you should return the dog to the owner, if possible.

If this is not possible, please report this to us.

The Animal Wardens will arrange to collect the stray dog at a time which is convenient to you. If it has been reported between 9am and 4pm, they will (wherever possible) collect it within 30 minutes. If reported between 4pm and 5pm, the dog will be collected the following working day. After 5pm you can email us and the Animal Wardens will contact you early the next working day, to arrange a convenient time for collection.

All stray dogs which are picked up within Blackburn and Darwen will be taken by the Animal Wardens. You can contact them on 01254 492024.

Anyone wishing to reclaim their dog must contact Animal Wardens. Once the necessary fees have been paid, the dog will be returned to your home address at a convenient time.

All fees must be paid before the return of the dog is arranged and ID will be required, stating proof of name and address.


  • 1st day: £130
  • 2nd day: £145
  • 3rd day: £160
  • 4th day: £175
  • 5th day: £190
  • 6th day: £205
  • 7th day: £220
  • 8th day: £235

Any dogs which are not collected by their owners will be re-homed.

Keeping a found dog

If you wish to keep a found dog, you are legally required to notify the Animal Wardens, by reporting this to us.

You will be asked to sign a form agreeing to keep the dog for a minimum of 1 month unless claimed by the original owner.

If after 1 month, you decide you no longer are able to keep the dog, you must contact the RSPCA. Please do not report this as a stray dog.

You must not give the dog to family or friends because in the case of a dog being retained by the finder, the dog legally remains 'found property' and the original owner can reclaim it at any time. Therefore, the dog never truly becomes the property of the finder. Further information can be found on the Animal Wardens website.

In all cases you will be asked to give relevant details such as where and when the dog was found, its size, colour, breed etc.

We will treat any information you give us in the strictest confidence.