Dog issues

What we do

The dog warden service is reponsible for:

  • Collection of stray dogs from the streets of Bristol
  • Promoting responsible dog ownership, through education, advice and leaflets
  • Investigation and enforcement of dog fouling
  • Enforcement of Dog Control Orders
  • Dog on dog attacks (within Bristol City Council threshold)

Stray dogs

Dog owners who have a dog that is straying risk their dog being collected and taken to Bristol Dogs and Cats home.

Bristol City Council will impose a stray dog collection fee for all stray dogs taken to the Bristol Dogs and Cats Home. Please see link for current charges Stray Dog Collection Fees (pdf, 113 KB) (opens new window)

The stray dog collection fee MUST be paid before the dog will be released to the owner.

Bristol City Council does NOT offer fee reductions, payment in instalments or cancellation of fee. 

The stray dog collection fees are set and increased daily to a maximum of 7 days. If the dog is not claimed and collected within this period the dog will be put up for adoption by the Bristol Dogs and Cats Home.

Bristol City Council and the Bristol Dogs and Cats Home will not tolerate any act of violence or threatening behaviour against their staff or premises. All person/s will be reported to the Police.

Details of how to collect stray dogs - Bristol Dogs and Cats Home

Promoting responsible dog ownership Dog with collar and tag

We encourage dog owners to have their dog/s fitted with a micro-chip. This provides a permanent means of identification on a database. It will soon be compulsory for all dog owners in England to micro-chip their dog.

It is still a legal requirement for all dogs to wear a collar and tag with the owner’s name and address inscribed on the tag (it is recommended to include your telephone number).

Dog fouling

It is a criminal offence for a dog owner not to immediately clear up after their dog has fouled in any open area. If you are caught letting your dog foul and not clearing it up, a fixed penalty notice will be served on you. This fixed penalty notice is a fine of £80 reduced to £60 if you pay within 10 days of issue. Bristol City Council prosecutes all non-payment of fixed penalty notices in the Magistrates Court, where if found guilty you could receive a maximum fine of £1,000.

The dog warden service can only take enforcement action where there is evidence of the perpetrator, all other incidents will be logged on our system to build an intelligence profile of the area. The types of evidence we require to identify a perpetrator would be:

  • An address that the owner and/or dog frequents
  • A description of the owner and/or dog
  • Location, time and date of the incident/s

You can also report dog fouling online for removal where a Street Cleaning Operative will remove the dog fouling and clean the street.

Report dog fouling on our street cleansing form

Publicity material with respect to dog fouling is available Dog fouling poster for residents (pdf, 298 KB) (opens new window)

Dog Control Orders

Dog Control Orders apply to all dog owners and people that exercise dogs.

Please follow the links for information on Bristol City Council Dog Control Orders:

The four “Notices of Making a Dog Control Order” are:

Offenders of the Dog Control Orders face a fixed penalty notice of £80 reduced to £60 if paid within 10 days of issue. Bristol City Council prosecutes all non-payment of fixed penalty notices in the Magistrates Court, where if found guilty you could receive a maximum fine of £1,000.

Also listed below are the four Dog Control Orders complete with schedules.

The Dog Control Order (Dogs on lead and Dog Exclusions) have schedules which exempt certain areas from the respective orders.

Dog on dog attacks

Bristol City Council will investigate incidents of dog on dog attacks that meet the Bristol City Council threshold. The Dog Warden will make an assessment of the incident using a threshold that is based on the severity of the attack, the cost of the vets bill and threat to public safety.

Where there is sufficient cause to investigate an incident, Bristol City Council will pursue a civil case against the defendant in the County Court. The County Courts can impose a variety of court orders on the defendant, such as a requirement for the dog to be muzzled and kept on a lead, neutering of the dog and an order to pay costs to the claimant.

Animal Welfare

The Animal Welfare Act 2006 came into effect in England on 6 April 2007 and provides greater protection for animals. Section 9 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 requires a pet owner to be legally obliged to care for their pet properly by providing;

  • A proper diet, including fresh water;
  • Somewhere suitable to live;
  • For any need, to be housed with or apart from, other animals
  • The ability to express normal behaviour patterns
  • Protection from pain, suffering, injury and disease
  • or (protection from and treatment of, illness and injury)

The majority of people look after their animals well, but if you suspect that a domestic animal is being cruelly treated, please contact the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999 or by visiting their website

If the animal is a farm animal in the City of Bristol please contact our Animal Health Inspector on 0117 922 2500.


Neutering or ‘spaying’ is the removal of the reproductive organs in dogs. This is a straightforward operation from which dogs recover quickly. We fully supports this process whereby all owners consider neutering their dogs, to prevent unwanted puppies being born which can end up wandering the streets as strays. An un-neutered male dog is more likely to stray from an owner’s property if there is an un-spayed female dog in ‘season’ in the area. This could lead to the dog causing a road traffic accident and getting injured.

Frequently asked questions

  • Who do I contact for dog on person attacks?

Please report to the Police. Non-emergency telephone 101. Emergency telephone 999.

  • Who do I contact for suspected Banned Breed Dogs?

Please report to the Police. Non-emergency telephone 101. Emergency telephone 999.

  • How do I make a complaint or give feedback about Bristol City Council’s Dog Warden Service?

Make a complaint or give feedback