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Be a responsible dog owner

Every dog owner has a responsibility to ensure that their pet does not cause a nuisance to others. This means that as an owner you must comply with certain laws, most of this legislation is straight forward, and is there to ensure that people and dogs can live happily and safely in the community.

If you are a Colchester Borough Homes tenant please read the pets policy Pets in Council Homes.

Responsible dog owner events

We carry out a range of educational activities to promote responsible dog ownership, including 'Bark in the Park ' and other community events, aimed at potential and current dog owners about responsible dog ownership and dog related legislation. 

How do I report issues of cruelty towards dogs?

The RSPCA's primary function is to promote kindness and to investigate cruelty cases. See website below.

Choosing a dog

Choosing a breed of dog can sometimes be a difficult task. The breed or type of dog that you would like to own is sometimes not suitable for your environment. To help you when considering buying a dog, our Choosing the right dog guide below provides useful information and key considerations on helping you to choose the right dog for you, your family and the dog.

The Kennel Club has an excellent guide to breeds that may assist you in choosing the right dog for your environment - see website link below.

Alternatively, if you would rather re-home a rescue dog please contact West End Farm Kennels who have many rescue dogs looking for a new home. Contact details for West End Kennels are on their website - see website link below.

Why should I train my dog?

  • To learn how to communicate with your dog so that he knows what you expect of it.

  • Your dog's quick response to an obedience command may save its life.

  • To have your dog under control and responsive to your commands.

  • Your dog will learn how it should behave around people and other animals.

  • Training your dog will reduce the risk of it biting someone or attacking another dog/animal.

  • Out of control dogs can result in their owner being prosecuted and the dog being destroyed.

The basic first lessons for your dog to learn are:

  • Walk beside you on and off the lead "heel"

  • Stay when told "sit" or "sit and stay"

  • Come to you when called

Why should I train my dog to go to the toilet at home?

  • You have better equipment to clear up after it.

  • It will reduce the amount of poop scooping you need to do when out in a public place.

  • It saves you from having to carry it around until you find a dog or litter bin. Dog waste can be disposed of with your normal household waste.

Why should my dog wear a collar and tag?

It is a legal requirement under The Control of Dogs Order 1992 for a dog to wear a collar and tag in a public place. The tag should identify the address and contact details of the owner.  Failure to do so can result in the owner being prosecuted.

Should your dog escape it could be returned by the person finding it rather than involving the Council and occurring charges.

Why should I get my dog spayed or neutered?

  • Puppies can be difficult to re-home and expensive to look after.

  • It can prevent your dog from straying or trying to escape.

  • A bitch on heat will attract other dogs, which may prevent you from walking it and allowing it off the lead in public areas.

  • Females can benefit from spaying by reducing the incidence of uterine, mammary, and ovarian cancers. It can also reduce the incidence of uterine infections such as Pyometra.

  • They are less likely to develop unwanted behaviour's such as marking, sexual aggression, and mounting, they are less likely to escape, roam, or fight with other dogs.

Why should I get pet insurance?

  • Veterinary treatments can be expensive.

  • If you cannot afford veterinary treatments, your only choice could be to have your dog put to sleep.

  • Everyone wants to keep their dog healthy, well into its old age.

Animal Welfare Act 2006

The Animal Welfare Act 2006 came into force on April 6 2007. The aim of the Act is to improve the welfare of animals, impose greater responsibility on their owners (whether permanent or temporary), and provide greater investigation and entry powers for police and local authority staff to deal with offences. Under section 9 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

It is the duty of any person responsible for an animal to ensure that its welfare needs are met. These include:

  • The need for a suitable environment.

  • The need for a suitable diet.

  • The need to exhibit normal behaviour patterns.

  • Any need to be housed with or apart from other animals, and

  • The need to be protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease

Silver Footprint Award

Our Animal Service has received a silver 'Animal Welfare Footprint' award from the RSPCA for its treatment of stray dogs and education in the Borough.

Animal Services can be contacted on 01206 282581 or via email