Lincolnshire Police have released some general advice for people who have come across a lost dog.
Under current law the finder of a lost dog may provide accommodation for that dog for an initial period of seven days whilst the owner of the dog is sought.
You MUST contact the dog warden for your area and register the dog as found or you could be charged with theft by finding. The dog warden may decide that you can board the dog for the seven days if you are a suitable person and your accommodation allows you to keep animals.
The finder must take all reasonable steps to ensure the legal owner of the dog is found within that period of time.
Check if the dog is microchipped (now a legal requirement)
Check DOGLOST website to see if the dog is registered as lost
Ring local rehoming kennels to see if an owner has registered their details
Check LincsFM website to see if the dog has been registered as lost
Put up local notices to say you have found a dog
Add the dog to social media sites such as Facebook
After seven days, if an owner has not been found, the finder may decide to keep the dog or rehome it. It is good practice for a finder to contact their local rescue kennels to rehome the dog so that the dog may find a suitable home within their rehoming policies, ie home check etc.
To ensure your dog is found and reunited with you as soon as possible, ensure your dog tag is up to date and your chip details have the correct address on the database. Keep your chip details on your mobile phone so they can be updated on the data base if your dog is lost asap.
However, Lincolnshire Police also warns that if you find a sighthound, ie lurcher, saluki, or greyhound, please take extra care when trying to trace the owner.
Many dogs are abandoned during the hare coursing season for various reasons and care should be taken to trace the legal owner of these dogs which may not be the person who was in possession of the dog last. If the microchip gives a current owner, these details should be passed to the Dog Warden to enable them to make an informed decision as the whether the dog should be returned or not. Under current law if a sighthound has been used in the process of hare coursing, it would normally be seized by Lincolnshire Police as ‘property used in the act of a crime’ and rehomed.
Details of the local dog wardens are shown on the LincsAlert website under useful information, visit https://www.lincolnshirealert.co.uk/pages/956/1/Useful_information.html