The Code of Practice
Owning and caring for a dog can be a source of great enjoyment, but you should be aware that dog ownership is a major responsibility. Under Section 9 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 (the Act) you must take all reasonable steps to ensure that you meet the following needs that your dog has, which are set out in the Act as follows:
(a) its need for a suitable environment;
(b) its need for a suitable diet;
(c) its need to be able to exhibit normal behaviour patterns;
(d) any need it has to be housed with, or apart from, other animals; and
(e) its need to be protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease.
Under the Act, you are always responsible for your dog's needs. Furthermore, if you are a parent or guardian of a child under the age of 16 years old, you are responsible for any animal that child is in charge of or owns. If you are unable to care for your dog at any time, you must make arrangements for another suitable person to look after it on your behalf. It is important to remember that you remain responsible for your dog's needs, even when you are away. The person with whom you leave your dog will also be legally responsible for your dog's welfare in your absence.
If you own or are responsible for a dog, and fail to meet its welfare needs or cause it unnecessary suffering, you may be prosecuted under the Act.
These documents are available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/code-of-practice-for-the-welfare-of-dogs Published by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Animal Welfare Act 2006 can be found here: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2006/45/contents
Doglaw - Specialist Advice On Dog Law
If you have a dog-related legal problem anywhere in England or Wales. And need to speak with a specialist solicitor. Please speak to Cooper & Co Solicitors. Trevor Cooper has been qualified as a Solicitor for 26 years and has wide-ranging expertise on the law relating to dogs. http://www.doglaw.co.uk/index.php
They also have a telephone advice line: 01304 755 557
Some advice is free and some are chargeable at a one-off fixed price telephone call for only £36 (inc VAT) for up to 20 mins during office hours
All Dog Warden Phone Numbers
It is the Local Authority (Council) who is responsible for found dogs, for assistance you need to contact the Local Authority for the geographical area where you found the dog.
Although the Local Authority has a mandatory responsibility for found dogs, each one operates in its own way, some have drop-off points (kennels and vets) whilst others will collect from you.
Some Police stations will take the dog from you and hold it until the Local Authority dog warden collects it, but this is unusual.
The RSPCA does not cater for found dogs.
In all likelihood, you will have to hold onto the dog for a short while, once you have found a dog you have a duty of care to look after it.
Each Local Authority has to keep a dog register of all the dogs they have seized so that owners can be reunited with them, if you have lost a dog this is a good place to start to find it, don't be fobbed off, by law they have to keep a list.
Dealing with irresponsible dog ownership: practitioners’ manual
Dangerous Dogs Act 1991