What to do if you have found a lost dog

If you feel comfortable, try to catch the loose dog and check for a collar and owner details to contact them. Only do this if the dog seems happy to approach you and is calm and happy to be touched. Do not try and corner or catch an unwilling dog, just look for identifying features and information on where it is, or where it seems to be going so you can pass that information on.

Contact the local dog warden – this may be a number or online form and we have collated these below. You can also try any local dog rescue centres, but they may not always have the resources to collect dogs.

If the dog is injured or trapped, then you can also call the RSPCA – 0300 1234 999 during 8am-8pm. And if you think the dog might cause an accident or injury to someone, for example if it is on a road, please call the police.

Advice for if you have lost a dog 

Immediate advice:

Losing a dog can be incredibly scary and stressful and hard as it is, try your best not to panic. If you know what direction your dog went in then you can try following, but often it is best to stay put and keep calling them. Don’t get angry as your dog might hear that in your voice and think twice about coming back to you. If they know words that get them excited like “biscuit” or “ball” or even “dinner” you can try calling those too to get their attention.

Make sure your phone is on loud and has battery – or if your dog’s collar/chip details are to a home phone make sure someone is able to monitor this. If someone has found your dog, you don’t want to miss their call!

If you can, call someone, a friend, partner or family member, to help keep you calm over the phone, or even to come out and help you look.

Ask other walkers, especially dog walkers, if they have seen your dog (making sure you are always safe especially if you are on your own).

Never punish your dog for coming back to you, as it will make them less likely to come back next time.

Longer term advice:

If you really can’t find your dog and have to leave the area, it is time to take a wider approach.

Contact the local dog warden (details below) and any local rescues to see if a dog has been taken to them and so they can get your details.

Social Media is your friend here – post in local dog or community Facebook groups so people can keep an eye out for your dog and offer advice of other local services.

You may be able to get assistance through your insurance – many policies will help with reward costs and more.

Always make sure that your microchip or collar tag details are up to date. 

New Forest Dog Owners Group – Lost dog App

The lovely folks at the New Forest Dog Owners Group (NFDOG) have put together an app where members can enter their dogs details and report them as lost if they go missing. Non members can still  view lost dogs so if you find a dog in or near the New Forest it may be worth a check. If you live in or regularly walk in the New Forest and think this might be useful for you, membership is just £5 per year.

Link to download App

NFDOG Website

Hampshire Dog Warden Contact Details


Basingstoke And Deane dog warden – 01256 84 48 44


East Hampshire dog warden – 01730234318 Out of hours 023 9268 8181


Eastleigh dog warden – Report online Eastleigh – lost dogs Out of hours 01489 892 760.


Fareham dog warden –

Monday – Friday: 0845-1715  – 01329 824399

Monday – Friday: 1715-1830 – 01329 235292

Saturday: 0730-1830 – 01329 235292

Sunday: 0830-1630 – 01329 235292

Bank Holidays: 0945-1630 – 01329 235292


Gosport dog warden – 01329 824399 Out of hours 01329 235292 (0915-1715)


Hart dog warden – 01252 62 21 22





Havant dog warden – 023 9244 6016 Out of hours 023 9268 8181


New Forest dog warden – 02380 285000 Out of hours 02380 285202


Portsmouth dog warden – 023 9268 8181 Out of hours 023 9282 4244


Rushmoor dog warden – 01252 39 81 66 Out of hours 01252 398 399


Southampton dog warden – 023 8083 3005 (option 4)


Test Valley dog warden – 01264 368463 Out of hours 01264 368000.


Winchester dog warden – online form Winchester – lost dogs

East Sussex Chichester Dog Warden Contact Details

Chichester dog warden – 01243 785166

The council has a reception point for stray dogs. If you find a dog, and cannot get hold of the owner, you have a legal obligation to take the dog to the council’s reception point. The reception point is open between 9am and 4.30pm, 7 days a week. (Closed between 10.30am and 12.30pm on Fridays and between 1pm and 2pm at weekends.) Please ring 023 9268 8181 to make an appointment.

If you are unable to take a dog to the council’s reception point during office hours (8am to 5pm Monday to Friday) our officers may be able to collect it.

The reception point is not open to the public to receive or collect strays between 4.30pm and 9am.

Isle of Wight Stray or lost dogs

If your dog goes missing

If your dog goes missing you can report it to the Environment Officer’s Team through our contact centre on 01983 821000 during office hours or 01983 821105 outside office hours. The information will be circulated to all Environment Officers and if the dog is found we will contact you as soon as possible.

If you see a stray roaming dog

If you see a stray roaming dog please report to the Environment Officer’s Team with a description, the last location seen and the direction the dog is travelling. The information will be circulated to the Environment Officers and any owners who have reported their dog missing. The Environment Officers will not actively search for roaming stray dogs but will search if they are in the area.

Secured stray dogs

If you secure a stray dog you can report it to the Environment Officer’s Team through our contact centre on 01983 821000 during office hours or 01983 821105 outside office hours.

We currently provide a collection service for secured stray dogs Monday to Friday from 9am to 4pm and Saturday and Sunday 10am to 4pm. If dogs are secured outside these hours the duty Environment Officer or Kennel provider will collect the secured dog first thing the following morning. Please keep the dog safe and in a secure area until the duty Environment Officer arrives.

We do not provide a 24 hour collection service for lost dogs.