Firstly – DON’T PANIC!
Most dogs will still be in the local area. Round up some help to start looking where you last saw you dog; treats may help if your pet may be nervous of being approached. Your dog will likely be found by another dog walker or kind member of the public, or will find his own way home - but the sooner you act the better.
TAG – by law your dog must wear a collar with your name and address attached. If this is the case he will often be returned quickly.
MICROCHIP – if your dog is microchipped, if he is taken to a vets or collected by the dog warden they will obtain all his details quickly and be able to contact you. MAKE SURE THE INFORMATION IS UP TO DATE – the chip is only as good as the information on it.
Who should I contact?
1. Dog warden
Dog wardens are legally responsible for stray dogs and so this is the first place that you should call. Numbers for your local dog warden will be available on the local government website. Our local dog wardens are:
For dogs found in Biddulph: 01782 233055
For dogs found in Cheshire: 01270 529599
If you live near the border please phone both!
The dog warden will hold onto a stray dog for 7 days before they can rehome him, pass him onto a rehoming organisation or have him humanely put to sleep.
2. Your local vets
Members of the public will often take strays to their own vets. This can sometimes be further away than you might think. The vet can then scan the dog and find the owners details if they are chipped. Local vets to try are:
Blue House (us!), Biddulph: 01782 522100
Charter Vets, Congleton/Biddulph: 01260 273449 / 01782 513077
Warrendale Vets, Biddulph: 01782 513366
Congleton Vets, Congleton: 01260 272131
Beechwood Vets, Kidsgrove: 01782 782582
Wright and Morten, Congleton: 01260 273222
3. Your local police station
Contact the police if you think your dog has been stolen. The police do not usually pick up stray dogs anymore and do not have holding kennels. Strays are the responsibility of the local authority (dog warden).
4. Kennels and rehoming Centres
Even if the police and dog warden have no record of your pet being handed in, ask them for the details of their holding kennels and call them anyway. A member of the public may have taken your dog there directly.
Our local holding kennels are:
Tenford Kennels, Tean – 01538 722457
City Dogs Home, Bucknall – 01782 304130
5. Microchip company
If your dog is chipped and is lost or stolen, inform your microchip database. If you have your pet’s chip number but don’t know who to call then use the www.checkachip.co.uk website to find out who to call. They can flag your dog as missing for you. Also check your phone numbers are up to date.
What else can I do?
Facebook – put pictures of your dog on Facebook and mark them as “missing – please share”. Post them onto the Facebook pages of local vets and dog groups. Many dogs have been found in this way.
Posters – put posters up to see if anyone has seen your dog. Also look for posters / on public notice boards to see if anyone is searching for you.
Online - consider registering your dog with a national lost dog database, such as DogLost (0844 800 3220) www.doglost.co.uk or www.animalsearchuk.co.uk or www.nationalpetregister.org
Keep looking – your dog may have been shut in a garage / shed or building after investigating.