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Dog control and animal welfare

Report a dog or animal welfare issue

  • Reporting a dog or animal welfare issue

    If you need to get in touch with our dog warden service, please email dogwardens@belfastcity.gov.uk or call 028 9027 0431.

    You can report:

    • a stray, lost or stolen dog
    • dog fouling
    • an overheating dog
    • a dead animal

    We also have information on reporting animal welfare issues that apply to animals such as horses and donkeys and contact details for reporting wild (feral) cats. 

    If you are concerned about a barking dog, you should report a noise problem

    Operating hours

    Our dog wardens operational hours are:

    Time To report
    Sunday to Saturday - except public and bank holidays
    8am - 8pm
    Call 028 9027 0431
    Weekdays
    5pm - 8pm
    Weekends
    8am - 8pm
    Leave a voicemail. Messages will be responded to by an officer as soon as possible.
  • Report an animal welfare issue

    We are responsible for enforcing the Welfare of Animals (NI) Act 2011. This applies to non-farmed animals only - these are domestic pets of any vertebrate species and equines such as horses and donkeys.

    If you have any concerns about a domestic animal, horse or donkey or think an animal is suffering from neglect, you should report an animal welfare issue.

    Report an animal welfare issue online

    You can also report an issue by email or phone.

    Time  Contact 
    During normal office hours:
    Monday - Friday, 8am - 5pm 

    Email animalwelfare@belfastcity.gov.uk
    Or call 028 9027 0431

     If your call is not urgent please contact us during normal office hours.

    We will investigate complaints and enforce the legislation, but an animal's welfare is always the responsibility of the owner or keeper. All reports are confidential and you can report concerns anonymously. 

    We can take action to improve the welfare of non-farmed animals including:

    • providing advice
    • issuing an improvement notice
    • taking animals into their possession and
    • taking prosecution action

    Welfare of farm animals

    Welfare complaints about farmed animals (animals bred or kept for the production of food, wool or skin or other farming purposes) should be referred to the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) (link opens in new window). 

    Welfare of wild animals

    Welfare complaints about wildlife crime such as badger baiting, bird poisoning, deer poaching, or animal fighting should be referred to the PSNI on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. 

    You should also contact the PSNI about wild animals or animals on the road.

  • Report a lost or stolen dog

    To report a lost or stolen dog, call us on 028 9027 0431.

    We'll check if our wardens have picked up the dog or taken it to our dog pound at:

    Nutts Corner Boarding Kennels
    18 Dundrod Road
    Nutts Corner
    Crumlin
    County Antrim

    Telephone:  028 9082 5889

    Facebook: Nutts Corner Boarding Kennels (link opens in new window)

    If you think a warden has picked up your dog and it's in Nutts Corner Boarding Kennels, you should contact the kennels before visiting.

    To claim your dog at the kennels, you must bring:

    • photographic identification for example your passport, driving licence, electoral card or national identity card
    • the reclaim fee, the daily rate is £17.50
    • the appropriate dog licence fee if your dog is not already licensed
    • the fee to microchip your dog if it is not already microchipped

    Your dog won't be released from the kennels until you provide proof the dog is currently licensed or you buy a dog licence.

  • Report dog fouling

    Help us clamp down on dog fouling by reporting it.

    Find out more about reporting dog fouling

  • Report a stray dog

    If you find a stray dog, call our dog wardens on 028 9027 0431.

    They'll arrange to collect it. You may also be asked for:

    • your name, address and telephone number,
    • a description of the dog including its type, colour, size and approximate age,
    • the time, date and location where you found the dog.
  • Report an overheating dog

    If you see a dog overheating in a car, you can call us:

    Opening times Phone

    Monday to Thursday
    8.30am to 5pm

    Friday
    8.30am to 4.30pm

    028 9027 0431 
    Outside office hours PSNI on 999 

    If a dog suffers or dies because they were left in a hot car, their owner can face prosecution for neglect and cruelty.

  • Advice on stray or feral cats

    We have no authority to deal with stray or feral cats. Cats have a transitory nature, compared to dogs which are usually confined to a property. Cats are unlikely to be classed as a statutory nuisance. It's an offence to harm cats. They are protected by law.

    It is irresponsible and illegal to leave a cat without providing proper care. If you can no longer care for your cat, you should contact a local cat rescue centre and sign the cat over for adoption.

    Sometimes people mistake domestic cats as stray cats. You should not feed a cat you do not know. The cat could have an owner. You might harm the cat by giving it food that it is allergic or not used to. Stray cats are usually feral or semi-feral. This means they are shy, nervous, and even aggressive towards people and don't want to be handled.

    The Cats Protection organisation can provide advice on cats. You can contact them by:

    Cats are free to roam and often spend long periods away from their home. They are more likely to stay away from home if different people feed them. Our advice is not to feed cats you don't own. If you have any welfare concerns for a cat and know the owner's address, report the issue to animal welfare (link opens in new window).


    Cat faeces can be a nuisance to neighbours causing flies and smells. A cat owner should have a covered cat litter tray in their garden to encourage their cat to toilet in this rather than other people's gardens. You can buy these trays in pet stores or make one using a washing up bowl and place this under a shelter.

    To help deter cats from your garden, you could:

    • use a cat repellent sprays. Cat repellents aren't designed to last longer than a day or two without degrading and losing their potency
    • make a simple animal repellent with black pepper and chilli pepper. It's best to grind your own because the smell will be much stronger. Spread the powder on annuals and perennials to keep cats away
    • scatter some orange or lemon peel to create no-go zones as cats don't like citrus smells. Citronella Oil is a good cat repellent
    • install an ultrasonic noise device. But cats and other animals tend to get used to the "sounds" emitted by these devices and may eventually find their way back onto your property
    • plant cat repellent plants like Coleus canina, known as "Scaredy Cat". The plant can be used as a barrier for gardens or other areas of your lawn, producing a foul smell that cats hate. You might want to plant wild roses and bramble bushes as natural barriers
  • Report a dead animal

    You can report a dead animal on the road to our Street Cleansing team.

    Report a dead animal 

    You can also email streetcleansing@belfastcity.gov.uk or call us on 028 9027 0230 to make a report.

    If a domestic pet or non-domestic animal like a fox, bird or badger is found dead in your house or garden, you must make your own arrangements to dispose of the animal. 

    You can find out more at wildlifetrusts.org or GOV.uk (Links open in new window)

  • Dog control fines

    Dog control fines are issued in accordance with The Fouling of Land by Dogs (Belfast City Council) Act 2012 (link opens in new window). We issued these fines in previous 12 months.

    Month Fouling No licence Straying
    July 0 2 0
    June 2022 0 12 1
    May 2022 1 8 5
    April 2022 0 18 2
    March 2022 2 15 5
    February 2022 2 23 16
    January 2022 1 14 22
    December 2021 0 10 12
    November 2021 2 19 17
    October 2021 2 11 7
    September 2021 3 32 11
    August 2021 2 18 15
    July 2021 2 17 20
    June 2021 3 7 17
    May 2021 1 0 0
    Total 21 206 144

Contact us

For more information and advice, get in touch.

dogwardens@belfastcity.gov.uk

028 9027 0431

Dog control, 4 Floor North, Cecil Ward Building, 4-10 Linenhall Street, Belfast, BT2 8BP

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