Dogs and animal welfare

also known as: Barking dogs, Dog warden service, Microchipping, Registration, Stray Animals.

Local authorities have a duty placed upon them for dog control in relation to stray dogs and dogs fouling public land. Other discretionary services are also carried out by the dog control service:

Stray and lost dogs

The Council has a duty under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to catch dogs that appear to be strays.

Please click below to report a problem to us:

5Report a stray dog here

5Report a lost dog here

Or you can contact us here.

All stray dogs are kept at kennels for 7 days, following the 7 days they would be put up for re-homing and the original owner's claim to the dog is likely to come to an end.

If your dog has gone missing you should contact Northumberland County Council on (0845) 6006400 or view local numbers here who will contact the Dog Warden on your behalf.

If you find a stray dog, you are required by law to return it to the owner or to contact the Council on (0845) 6006400 or view local numbers here who will make arrangements to collect it. If the dog is injured it should be taken to the nearest vets as soon as possible.

Stray dogs found during normal working hours (08:00 – 17:00/16:30 Friday):

Any dog found in a public place and not being in the control of the owner is considered to be a stray. Stray dogs can cause many problems so don't let your dog roam alone, and all dogs must by law wear a collar and identity tag in a public place.

To reclaim a dog the owner will be required to pay a release fee, the cost of kennelling the dog and any outstanding costs e.g. vets fees. The owners of dogs with some form of identification will be notified as soon as is practicable.

In the first instance the dog should be returned to its owner. If the owner is not known or cannot be identified from the dog's collar and tag, one of the following procedures should be followed:

1. You need to contact Northumberland County Council Customer Services on 0845 600 6400. A dog warden will then arrange with you to come and collect the dog.

2. Newcastle Dog & Cat Shelter, Benton Lane, Newcastle Upon Tyne. NE12 8EH, (0191 2150435) accept dogs found by members of the public in the Northumberland Area between 8:00 – 16:00hrs Monday - Friday

Stray dogs found outside normal working hours:

Under Section 68 of the Clean Neighbourhood and Environment Act 2005, the Police will no longer be involved in seizing stray dogs and do not have a duty to accept strays if taken to a Police Station.

Any dog found in a public place and not being in the control of the owner is considered to be a stray. Stray dogs can cause many problems so don't let your dog roam alone, and all dogs must by law wear a collar and identity tag in a public place.

To reclaim a dog the owner will be required to pay a release fee, the cost of kennelling the dog and any outstanding costs e.g. vets fees. The owners of dogs with some form of identification will be notified as soon as is practicable.

In the first instance the dog should be returned to its owner. If the owner is not known or cannot be identified from the dog's collar and tag, one of the following procedures should be followed:

  1. You can keep the dog until the next working day and then as above, contact the Dog Warden section and arrange for the dog to be collected.

  2. Contact Northumberland CountyCouncil Customer Services on 0845 600 6400 and they will arrange for the dog to be collected by the out of hours service. The dog must be detained.

  3. This service is only available between

  4. 17:00 – 22:00hrs Monday – Thursday,
    16.30-22.00hrs Friday
    8:00 – 22:00hrs Saturday - Sunday.

  5. Croft Vetinary Hospital, Northumberland Business Park West, Cramlington. NE23 7RH, telephone number 0191 2503800 act as or stray dog reception point, this is a 24hr service.

  6. Stray dogs can also be taken to Newcastle Dog & Cat Shelter, Benton Lane, Newcastle Upon Tyne. NE12 8EH. (0191 2150435). This service is available 8:00 – 16:00 Saturday & Sunday

Collar and Identity Tags

Under the Control of Dogs Order 1992, all dogs must wear a collar and identity tag in a public place. The tag must show the owner’s name and address. Our dog wardens enforce this law and fines of up to £5000 can be given by the Courts for an offence.

Without identification, you are making it less likely that you will get your dog back if it strays.

Please click below to report a problem to us:

5Report a dog offence here

Or you can contact us here.

Always make sure that your dog wears a collar and tag, even if microchipped.

Northumberland Voluntary Dog Registration Scheme

Northumberland has a large population of dogs and it is hoped that most, if not all, of their owners will take up the opportunity to voluntary register their dog with the Council’s Animal Welfare Service.

There is no charge to join the Scheme, dog owners simply fill in an application form and receive a tag with a personal identification number engraved on it. Details of the dog and owner are kept on computer and can instantly be called up if the dog is picked up by the Animal Welfare Officer.

A. Owners who register their dog will be provided with a tag with a personal identification number engraved on it.

B. The Scheme is FREE to all Northumberland dog owners.

C. Lost or straying dogs will be returned to their owner if picked up by the Animal Welfare Officer (providing the dog is wearing the tag).

D. The dog will not be taken to the kennels (unless picked up on a regular basis or out of hours) thereby saving the owner the cost of the kennel fees.

E. The details of the dog and owner are kept on a computerised system ensuring a speedy return of the dog to its owner.

Register online

5Register for Voluntary Dog Registration Scheme here

Or you can contact us here.

Dog Microchipping

Northumberland County Council now provides a dog microchipping service.

5Request Microchipping

Or you can contact us here.

This is available to dogs from a week after their second injection (13- 14 weeks old).

We now have a limited amount of free Microchips.

Please contact NCC on 08456006400 to arrange for your dog to be microchipped free of charge.

An Animal Welfare Officer will then contact you to make an appointment that is convenient for you both.

Northumberland County Council also plans to hold microchipping events throughout Northumberland when you would be able to bring your dog along on the day to be chipped.

Barking dogs - noise

If a complaint is made to a Council, they have a duty to investigate it.

The Council may serve a Noise Abatement Notice and if the barking continues then they may prosecute under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. The likely penalty is a fine.

Barking comes naturally to dogs, but the constant barking or whining of a dog can be disturbing or annoying for the neighbours. Often the problem occurs when the dog’s owner is out of the house and so the owner doesn’t know until someone complains.

In law, a barking dog can be a noise nuisance. The owner can be taken to court if he does nothing to stop the nuisance.

How to report a problem with barking dogs

You can report a problem in one of the following ways

5 Report a problem with barking dogs

Or you can contact us here.

Whilst dogs are allowed to bark, they are not allowed to bark so that it causes a nuisance.

It is a matter of fact and degree in each case and factors that may be taken into account include:

  • the volume
  • duration of the barking
  • the time of day it happens.

Why dogs bark?

Dogs are not by nature solitary animals. They need the security of a family group. Pet dogs regard their owners as a substitute family and can soon become distressed when left alone.

There are many reasons why your dog may bark:

  • Loneliness
  • Boredom or frustration
  • Attention seeking
  • Defending his territory
  • Medical problems

The importance of training

Training is important so that your dog does not bark at just anything that moves. A well-trained dog should be able to tell between people allowed into the house and people who are intruders. Good training combined with affection and companion should mean that your dog will not develop bad habits. Start young and start as you mean to go on.

Some simple things to try

Some dogs just don’t want you to go out. Get your dog used to the idea that you are away for different periods of time at different times of the day. That way he might not be so concerned each time you leave. And don’t make a fuss of your dog when you leave him.

Try putting your dog on his own in another room at first for a few minutes, then gradually build up the time you leave your dog alone. Do not return to your dog until he is quiet for a period. When you return, praise him.

Some dogs will bark because they want to join in what’s going on outside. If this is the problem, try leaving your dog so that he cannot see outside.

Some dogs will settle only if they can hear a human voice. Leaving the radio on at low volume might help. But make sure the radio is not too loud. You don’t want to have complaints about that!

Try not to leave your dog for long periods. If you have to, see if there is someone who can look in during that time. Maybe that person could take your dog for a walk or let him out into the garden, if you have one.

  • If you have to leave your dog for long periods
  • Feed and exercise him before you go out and leave him some fresh water
  • Make sure his bed or basket is comfortable and leave him his favourite toys
  • Check that the room is not hot or too cold and that there is adequate ventilation
  • And if you aren’t coming back until after dark, leave a light on

Some other points

If you do keep your dog outside, think carefully about where you put his kennel and where he can run. Try not to put it near your neighbour’s fence or where your dog will be tempted to bark.

Don’t blame the dog and think that you will solve everything by replacing him with another. It probably will not, unless you change your lifestyle at the same time.

Getting a second dog for company might help. But think about this carefully. Do you have the space and can you afford a second dog? Another dog could result in more not less problems.

You should also go to your vet. Sometimes a dog will bark because he is ill – anxiety is often the cause of barking. You can ask your vet to refer your dog to an animal behaviourist who is an expert and can suggest ways to improve your dog’s behaviour.

Dog Fouling

Northumberland County Council only has powers to deal with dog fouling in the county. Dog fouling is a problem that occurs on footpaths, school playing fields, sports fields, parks and other public places when owners do not clear up after their dogs. The excrement can cover shoes, clothing and can even lead to blindness due to an infection called 'Toxocara canis'. Council's can now identify areas of land in which it is an offence not to clear up after your dog under:-

Please click below to report a problem to us:

5Report a dog fouling problem here

Or you can contact us here.

Animal Welfare Office
Northumberland County Council
Loansdean
Morpeth
Northumberland, NE61 2AP
TEL: 0845 600 6400