Animal warden team

The Animal Wardens do not deal with issues relating to animal welfare.

If you have any concerns relating to pets or animals that are being neglected, mistreated or abused, then you should contact the RSPCA (the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) on 0300 1234 999 or use the RSPCA cruelty report form.

You can also read the animal wardens complaint or query privacy notice

Animal activity licensing

From 1 October 2018, applications for businesses carrying out the following activities are now licensed under the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 (PDF 207KB).

Licences held under the previous system relating to pet shops, animal boarding establishments, riding establishments or dog breeding will continue to apply until the end of their current term.

Other licensable activities, such as dangerous wild animals and zoo licences are not included in the new legislation and the application fees remain unchanged.

Dog fouling

Any issues relating to dog fouling should be referred to Cityclean, who can arrange for one of their street-cleaning team to visit the affected areas and remove any dog-waste.

They can be contacted by calling 01273 292929 or emailing or you can use the street cleaning form.

Cityclean also have Enforcement Officers who can fine people who do not pick up after their dog.

Report a lost dog

If you have lost your dog, please use our lost dog report form to report this to our Animal Wardens.

If the dog is found, we will contact you.

Alternatively, you can report this by phone on 01273 294266. The following information will be required: colour, breed, name, where it was lost, whether it was collared, tagged or micro-chipped.

  • If your dog goes missing after 4pm, then please contact our out-of-hours company, K9, on 07827 967 088.

Report a found dog

To report a dog that you have found, please use our found dog report form. An officer will contact you to arrange collection.

Alternatively, you can report this by phone on 01273 294266. As much information about the dog as possible will be required.

  • If you find a dog after 4pm, then please contact our out-of-hours company, K9, on 07827 967 088.

An Animal Warden or K9 officer will then contact and arrange collection of the dog.

Reclaiming your dog

The Environmental Protection Act 1990 gives the local authority the power to seize and detain any dog found straying. There is no duty to return the dog directly to its owner, it can be detained until the necessary charges have been paid to reclaim it.

The charge for us to return your dog is £97 for the first day/part-day. This increases by £28 per day. We are unable to return your dog until the charges have been paid by debit or credit card.

The authority has the power to dispose of the dog after seven days if it remains unclaimed, this is usually by re-homing.

Microchipping dogs

It is now a legal requirement for all dogs to be fitted with a microchip by the time they are eight weeks old.

Dog owners must also have registered their pet’s microchip details on one of the authorised databases and are required to keep their pet’s details up to date with the database.

Your dog’s microchip must be fitted by a trained professional, such as your vet. The Dogs Trust and RSPCA can also microchip dogs.

Microchipping your dog gives you the best chance of being reunited with your pet if they go missing. Every year, rescue centres take in thousands of stray dogs and many are not reunited with their owners as there is no way of tracing them.

As well as being microchipped, it is still a legal requirement for dogs to wear a collar and tag with the owner’s name and address on it when in a public place.

For more information, go to the Gov.UK website.

Dog attacks

We investigate:

  • dogs causing fear or injury to people
  • injury caused to dogs by other dogs in public places
  • attacks on assistance dogs

In order to help us investigate 'dog on dog' attacks, we would need the following information:

  • address details of the attacking dog – we are unable to take action without this,
  • description of the attacking dog – breed, markings
  • any distinguishing features, age if known
  • description of the owner/dog walker, name if known
  • whether the dog was on a lead
  • the location, date and time of the attack
  • whether there were any witnesses, names, addresses or mobile phone number if known
  • any photos of the incident or injuries sustained
  • whether any vet bills have been incurred as a result of the attack
  • contact details of vet.

Unfortunately, we are not able to take action without a formal statement and a commitment to appear at court if required. Download a statement form (PDF) and guidance on how to write a statement (PDF).

Your personal details would be kept confidential unless or until the matter goes to court.

We will evaluate the evidence, severity of the attack, threat to public safety and the cost of vet’s bill to decide if we should take the dog owner to court. The court can give an order for the dog to be muzzled and kept on a lead, neutering of the dog and an order to pay costs.

We cannot investigate matters already investigated by the Police.

You can report any of the issues to us by emailing or calling us on 01273 294266.

Contact the police about:

  • Dogs used as weapons
  • Incidents involving guard dogs
  • Incidents involving banned breeds as listed in section 1 of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 (amended)
  • Dog attacks of a serious nature on humans
  • Incidents of this nature should be reported to Sussex Police on 101.

Report an unlicensed animal activity business

It's illegal for someone to run an animal activity business without a licence. This includes people who provide dog day or overnight boarding or breed dogs for sale from their home. If they're not on our list of animal activity licence holders, then they may not have a licence.

You can report an unlicensed business to our animal warden team. In your report, please tell us:

  • the business, personal name and address where the activity is taking place
  • details of the service
  • details of personal dealings with the business and why you believe their operating without a licence

We will then decide if there is enough evidence for a full investigation. If we do investigate, you may need to give a formal written statement and make a declaration to support the council as a witness. Your personal details will be confidential unless the investigation proceeds to a legal proceeding.

Professional Dog Walkers Scheme

This is a voluntary scheme that promotes the highest standard of practice for dog walking companies.

Animal rescue centres

If you’re thinking of getting a pet, please consider getting one form a rescue centre. There are many rescue societies across the UK who take in, assess and try to rehome unwanted animals. Local animal rescue centres include:

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