Lost or stray dogs in the Harrogate area

This service is delivered differently in each area of the county. This information relates to the former district of Harrogate. Looking for information in another area of the county? You can change the location here.

You can report a lost or stray dog in the Harrogate area to our dog warden service.

What to do if you find a stray dog

If you find a stray dog within the Harrogate area during office hours you can contact us and we will arrange to collect the dog. 

Out of office hours we do not operate a stray dog collection so you can: 

  • return the dog directly to its owner if it is wearing an identification tag 
  • keep the dog until the next working day and then arrange a collection with our dog warden service 
  • take it to our stray dog reception centre during their opening times – contact us to arrange an appointment 

Dog warden opening hours

Dog warden service opening hours: 

Monday to Thursday: 8.30am to 5pm 
Friday: 8.30am to 4.30pm 

Reporting your lost dog

If you have lost your dog you should report it to us online, as well as contacting local vet surgeries, neighbours and your microchip provider. 

Report your lost dog in the Harrogate area

All reports of lost dogs are forwarded onto our dog wardens who will contact you as soon as possible (during office hours). 

Report your lost dog in the Harrogate area

Frequently asked questions

What happens to a stray dog?

We will take a seized stray dog to our stray dog reception centre and keep it for seven days.  

If a dog is not claimed after seven days, the council becomes the owner. We will then re-home the dog, or in certain circumstances humanely destroy it. 

What costs are involved for releasing a stray dog and how do you make a payment?

Before we release a dog, the owner must pay: 

  • a seizure fee: £89.66
  • kennel fee: £10.60 per day 
  • plus any other costs incurred 


  • payment can be made before collection by credit or debit card either online, or during office hours by contacting us
  • to make a payment, you will need your dog’s unique stray dog registration number and its date of seizure 
  • we cannot accept payment by cheque and payment by cash is only available in exceptional circumstances 
  • no payment must be given directly to an officer within the dog warden service 
Make a stray dog payment online

You will receive an email receipt after payment has been made. Please present this to the dog warden when you collect your dog. The dog warden will not release any dog until the outstanding fees have been settled. 

Make a stray dog payment for a dog found in the Harrogate area

Dangerous dogs

It is against the law to let any type of dog be dangerously out of control in any location. 

A dog is considered to be dangerously out of control if it: 

  • injures someone 
  • makes someone worried that it might injure them 
  • it attacks someone’s animal 
  • the owner of an animal thinks that they could be injured if they tried to stop a dog from attacking their animal 

You should contact the Police if you see a dog that is dangerously out of control on 101 or in an emergency on 999. 

Please note that farmers are allowed to kill a dog if it is worrying their livestock. 


  • if a dog is found to be dangerously out of control the person responsible can receive an unlimited fine and/or be sent to prison for up to six months 
  • if a dog injures someone the person responsible can be sent to prison for up to five years – if a dog is deliberately used to injure someone they could be charged with ’malicious wounding’ or receive up to 14 years if a person allows a dog to kill someone 
  • if a person allows a dog to injure an assistance dog, such as a guide dog, they can be sent to prison for up to three years 

The person responsible in all these cases may be banned from having a dog or the dog may be humanely destroyed.