Your Dog and the Law

This page sets out the law and procedure regarding stray dogs in Burnley. It is an overview of the laws that affect dog owners.

Stray Dogs/Identification of Dogs: Control of Dogs Order 1992

Any dog that is found roaming the streets unattended may be picked up by the Council’s Dog Warden to prevent accidents, attacks and reduce fouling.

The law states that your dog must wear a collar and tag when out in a public place.

The first time we catch your dog straying we will return it to you, free of charge, but we can only do this if it is wearing a collar/tag, or is microchipped.

We will collect all found dogs and keep them safely for a maximum of seven days so they can be reclaimed by their owner (subject to payment of a fee).

If you do not collect your dog within seven days, you will lose the right to reclaim it, and we will try to re-home it.

If you persistently allow your dog to roam unattended it will be picked up and removed from the streets and be taken directly to the kennels by the Dog Warden.

Get your dog microchipped

You must make sure your dog is fitted with a microchip by the time it’s 8 weeks old.

You can be fined up to £500 if your dog is not microchipped.

Did you know….

From the 6th April 2016 owners of dogs found by the police or local authorities not to have a microchip will have the benefits explained to them and given a short period to comply with the microchipping law. If they do not, they could face a fine of up to £500.

The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991

It is a criminal offence to be in charge of a dog dangerously out of control in any place (whether or not a public place). Any concerns that you have about aggressive dogs or dogs that have injured other animals should be reported immediately to the Dog Warden.

Burnley Public Space Protection Order (Dog Control) 

It is an offence not to immediately remove dog faeces from any open area without the owner’s permission.  You could face a Fixed Penalty Notice and be fined £100.00, or be prosecuted and face a fine of up to £1,000.00.

This legislation came into effect on the 19th December 2019. This means that it is illegal to fail to immediately clear up after your dog if it fouls on any designated land, which is open to the air and to which the public has access, as defined in the Schedule to the Order.

Burnley Council has introduced new Dog Control Orders from 19th December 2019. The Orders, which were agreed by the Council after a major public consultation exercise, give extra powers to Council Officers to tackle dog fouling and require owners to keep their dogs on a lead in certain areas. 

Animal Welfare Act

This Act provides protection not only for dogs but for all animals. It is designed to protect animals that do not receive proper care. Read more about the Animal Welfare Act.