The legal position regarding stray dogs is comprehensively covered by the Environmental Protection Act 1990. This Act imposes upon the Council a statutory duty to deal with stray dogs. This duty is currently undertaken by the Council’s dog warden service.
Many people think of a stray dog as one without a home but this is not the case. A stray dog is any dog that is roaming freely and not under the control of any person, irrespective of whether it has a home, an identification tag or a micro-chip.
All dogs must be kept under control at all times. This includes preventing them from being aggressive, straying, barking unnecessarily and keeping them on a lead where appropriate.
A dog without anyone in charge in a public place is a nuisance, such dogs are seized by the Dog Wardens so that they are safe and can be returned to their owners. If the owner cannot be located:
Dogs collected during normal working hours are taken directly to a private kennels at Gelligaer (Tel 01443 832345) where they can be collected by the owner on payment of the relevant charge.
Dogs found by members of the public out of normal working hours are taken to a private kennels in Blackwood (Tel 01495 724580) where they can be collected by the owner on payment of the relevant charge.
All dogs should wear a collar with a tag stating the owners name and address and it is an offence not to do so. If a dog becomes lost, it will be a lot easier for it to be reunited with its owner if the details are on a tag or if it is micro-chipped. All lost or found dogs should be reported to the dog warden service via the contact us on this page.
The Dog Wardens provide advice and information to members of the public on the responsibilities involved in dog ownership. Owners should neuter their dogs and exercise them by taking them out for walks and not letting them roam free. Our aim is to discourage the irresponsible dog owner by removing unattended dogs from the streets and by requiring owners to clean up after their pets by enforcing the Dogs Fouling of Land Act which carries stiff penalties. Routine patrols of areas by staff to observe owners allowing their dogs to foul are now the norm and prosecution is a likely outcome. Dog fouling is a big issue for us and if you can help us to identify which dog owners are allowing this to happen we want to hear from you. Collect as much information about who, when and where and pass it on to us.
The dog warden service is not responsible for dogs that are mistreated or neglected, please contact the RSPCA
The Police have a legal responsibility to deal with all dogs irrespective of size or breed that is dangerously out of control in a public place, especially if the owner is known. If you require the police action for dangerous or banned dogs contact the police on 101 or enquire at your local police station.
The police no longer have any responsibility for stray dogs. Please contact us between the hours of 08:30 - 17:00 (Monday to Thursday) and 08:30 - 16:30 (Friday) on the number at the bottom of this page.
Outside of these hours please contact our out of hours number on 01685 385231 and we will provide further information on this service.
Changes to the dog warden out of hour’s service were introduced on the 6th April 2014 as part of the first phase of service reductions by Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council as a result of the funding cut for public services from UK government. To meet this challenge the Council has had to make difficult decisions about what we do, what we have to stop doing, how we do things and who we do them for. Consequently the out of hours dog warden service has been scaled and we no longer provide a seven day, 24 hour, service where members of the public have been able to hand over stray dogs to wardens outside normal working hours.
From the 20th April 2015 the Council will be changing provision for finders of stray dogs outside normal working hours. The Council will be using a reception kennels in Blackwood where stray dogs may be taken by members of the public between the hours of:
Monday-Friday 18.00 till 22.00
Weekends and Bank Holidays 09.00 till 22.00
Members of the public must contact the Councils Lifeline number 01685 385231 prior to the kennels being able to accept any dog.
Merthyr Tydfil Council is facing an estimated shortfall in resources over the next four years in excess of £15.3m. The dog warden service would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused by these changes.