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Stray dogs

​A stray dog is a dog without its owner or other authorised person in a public place or a place it's not allowed to be.

Report a stray dog

You can report stray dogs to us using the form below.

The dog warden will attempt to collect 'loose' stray dogs Monday-Friday 9am-5pm. Between 5pm-9am Monday-Friday and all day weekends and bank holidays, the dog warden will only collect stray dogs that have been secured.

Before you report a stray dog:

  • If the dog is friendly and you're happy to approach it, you can check if it's wearing a collar. Collars usually have the owner's phone number written on the tag.
  • You can then call the owner to let them know you've found their dog.

If you're able to get in touch with the owner who says they're coming to get the dog, there's no need to report the dog to us.

Report a stray dog (opens in a new window)

You can also take stray and unwanted dogs to Manchester Dogs Home yourself but you'll need to contact them in advance. Contact details for Manchester Dogs Homes

What stray dogs should you report to us?

You can report any of the following dogs to us:

  • Dogs running around in public with no owner.
  • Dogs left tied up in public with no owner around.
  • Dogs off the lead not being controlled by their owner.
  • Dogs let out to exercise by themselves rather than being walked by the owner.

What stray dogs shouldn't you report to us?

You shouldn't tell us about any of the following:

  • If you've lost your dog. You'll need to report any lost pets to the police by calling 101.
  • If you've found an injured stray dog. Please report this to the RSPCA.
  • If a dog is acting aggressively or if someone's been bitten by a dog, call the police on 101. If people are still in danger from the aggressive dog, please call 999.
  • Stray dogs on private land. You should report this to the owner of the land.
  • Stray dogs on land owned by housing associations, including Rochdale Boroughwide Housing. You should report this to the housing association directly. View contact details for housing associations in the borough.
  • Any other stray animals such as stray cats. Contact the RSPCA to report stray pets.

What happens to lost or found dogs?

We take the stray dogs we find to Manchester Dogs Home.

If you've lost your dog, you can check if your dog has been handed in to Manchester Dogs Home. You'll need to pay a fee to Manchester Dogs Home before you'll get your dog back.

 You can also search the Dog Lost website for lost and found dogs.

Thinking of getting a dog?

DogsTrust can help you if you're thinking of getting a dog. Contact them for more information.


0300 303 8871

Phone: Monday-Friday 8.30am-5.30pm.
Closed for training Monday 11am-11.30am.

Public Protection Service​​
Number One Riversid​e​
Smith Street
Rochdale OL16 1XU