If your dog goes missing, help could be at hand in the shape of the council’s animal warden.

Looking after the welfare of lost or abandoned animals is an important, but perhaps not so well known, service that the council provides.

One of the main jobs of the animal warden, which is a shared service with Mole Valley District Council, is to respond to notifications about stray dogs, collect them and return them safely to their owners, as soon as possible. If a stray or lost pet is collected during office hours (9:00-17:00), as long as it is microchipped and has up-to-date identification details, the warden aims to return it home immediately, with no charge for the service.

Kennels and rehoming

But sometimes things are not so straightforward: for example, if the animal has been microchipped by the breeder and the new owner hasn’t registered their details, there can be delays and difficulties in reuniting pet and owner.  If they can’t be returned to their owner on the same day, the warden takes the animal to kennels, where it is given veterinary treatment if required, with the owner charged the appropriate fee when found. If, after seven days, the owner can’t be traced, the dog is rehomed via a charity.

Enforcing legislation

In addition to dealing with stray dogs, the warden enforces dog-related legislation. This includes responding to reports of dog attacks on other animals (attacks on people should be reported to the police), animal noise nuisance investigation, dog fouling reports and animal welfare concerns. She works closely with other agencies such as the RSPCA, Trading Standards, Housing and Surrey Police.


Another part of the job is the licensing of premises: for example, riding schools (working jointly with a vet), inspecting boarding establishments for dogs and cats to make sure they are suitable, dog breeders and pet shops.

The coronavirus pandemic led to a big increase in animal ownership and the warden is keen to emphasise how important it is people make sure their pets are microchipped and details are kept updated, so animals can be kept safe and reunited with their owners in the event they get lost.

To use the animal warden service during normal office hours, call 01306 879167. Out of hours, you can call the council offices on 01883 722000 and ask to be connected to our contractor.

If you have any comments/questions, please get in touch at: Cllr.Catherine.Sayer@tandridge.gov.uk.

Councillor Catherine Sayer is the council leader and leader of the Independents and OLRG Alliance, which runs the council with a minority administration.

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