Wednesday, 23rd May 2012
Finding a lost dog
Question: My children found a dog in our local park last week. It had no collar or identification. We'd like to keep the dog. What should we do?
Answer: If you have found a dog and are willing to keep the dog in your home (rather than bring it to the dog warden or to a pound) you must report your find to your local dog warden or your local Garda Station. You can find contact details for dog wardens on the website of the Irish Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ispca.ie). Many dogs have had microchips inserted which carry details of their owner. Your local dog warden or vet can check whether the dog is microchipped.
If the owner cannot be found and you decide to keep the dog, you do not own it until a year and a day have passed from the date you found it.
If you take a lost dog in you can keep it for 28 days without a licence but you must then get a licence for it. You must be over 16 to get a dog licence. You can get a standard annual licence (€20 a year) from your local post office or a 'lifetime of dog licence' (€140) from your local authority.
If you decide to keep the dog, you should consider carefully the commitment required. You must be able to provide proper care, accommodation, food and veterinary care for the rest of its life. You are also legally required to ensure that your dog wears a collar with your name and address inscribed on it or on a plate, badge or disc. Dog wardens can issue on-the-spot fines if a dog does not carry identification.
Further information is available from the Citizens Information Centre below.
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