Help, I have lost or found a dog!
Sadly, almost every day, Dogs Trust is contacted about stray, lost or abandoned dogs that have become separated from their owners.
Although it is a legal requirement for every dog in Ireland to be microchipped, unfortunately, many dogs that are presented to us have unregistered chips, the registered owner is not contactable, or the dog is not microchipped at all.
If you find a dog, the first thing you should do is take the dog to a local veterinary practice, animal welfare organisation or a dog pound and have it scanned for a microchip. We are very happy to offer this scanning service at Dogs Trust and may be able to help to trace the owner whilst you are here if a microchip is located and the owner has kept their contact details up to date. Please call us on 01 8791000 (8am to 5pm) to arrange a time to come in and have the dog scanned for a chip.
If you have found a dog, we recommend that you take a picture and post it on our Lost and Found Facebook group. Please look for proof of ownership if you are contacted about a dog you have found by a potential owner. We also keep a log of lost and found dogs at our Rehoming Centre, so please leave your contact details with us via [email protected]
Stray Dogs and the Law
It is a legal requirement to comply with The Control of Dogs Acts and report any stray dog to the dog warden. Unfortunately, Dogs Trust has no authority to keep stray dogs under The Control of Dogs Acts 1986 and 1992 the full responsibility for dog control and licensing services is placed on local authorities. Under these Acts, local authorities have the power to appoint dog wardens, to provide shelters for stray and other dogs, to impose on-the-spot fines for a number of offences and to bring cases to court.
If no identification is found for a stray dog, the Local Authority must then keep the dog for five days. After that time, the Local Authority then either rehomes the dog through local welfare organisations, rehomes the dogs themselves or sadly destroys the dogs if no suitable home can be found.
We take in and rehome dogs from local authority dog pounds all over Ireland following their statutory five-day stay in the pound if they have not been rehomed or reclaimed – this function is the core of our work in the Dogs Trust Dublin Rehoming Centre; as helping vulnerable dogs is our number one priority Dogs Trust has no legal authority to deal with stray dogs. For this reason, we cannot usually take in stray or abandoned dogs, and we simply do not have the kennel space to do so.
In the event of a stray dog being injured, unwell, very young or very vulnerable, Dogs Trust where possible will work the local authority to ensure these dogs receive the veterinary attention and care they require in our Rehoming Centre. If a member of the public has found a stray dog we are obliged to ask them to notify their local dog pound so that the dog can be reclaimed, however, we do ask dog wardens and pound staff to contact us if there are vulnerable dogs in their care or dogs that have not been reclaimed or rehomed from the pound after their statutory 5 days.
However, it is a legal requirement to comply with The Control of Dogs Acts and report any stray dog to the dog warden.
The law states that “any person, other than a dog warden or a member of the Garda Síochána, who finds and takes possession of a stray dog shall, forthwith—
(a) return the dog to its owner, or
(b) deliver the dog to a dog warden, or
(c) detain the dog and give notice in writing containing a description of the dog, the address of the place where it was found, and the address of the place where it is detained to the member in charge at the nearest Garda Station to the place where the dog was found, or to a dog warden.
Where a person has found a stray dog and has retained possession of the dog for a year after the date on which he gave the notice and the dog has not been claimed by its owner within that year, such person shall become the owner of the dog and the title of the former owner to the dog shall be extinguished.”
If you lose your dog, the first thing you should do is contact your local dog pound and Garda station to report the dog as missing, giving a full description of your dog and your contact details. Although your dog should be microchipped, it is still advisable to visit the dog pound during opening hours to look at the stray dogs and hand in a poster with your dog’s picture on it.
Posters & Social Media:
Please make posters with a picture and description of the found dog and put them up in the locality you found the dog in – local veterinary practices, rescue and rehoming centres, shops, Garda stations and community centre boards are recommended. Get the word out there on social media as it is an extremely useful tool to help reunite a stray dog with their owner.
Telephone numbers -
- Dogs Trust Dublin – 01 8791000 (option 2)
- D.S.P.C.A - (01) 499 4700