Millions of owners could be fined while walking dogs this summer

a dog looking up at its owner while on a walk
-Credit: (Image: PA Photo/thinkstockphotos)

Millions of UK dog owners face being hit with a fine when taking their pets out for walks this summer.

Experts have warned people could even have their dogs seized or be taken to court, if they don't follow certain rules. For example, it is illegal for a dog to be on a highway or in a public place without a collar that includes the name and address of the owner attached.

This is the case even if the dog is microchipped, and the owner's name and address must be inscribed onto the collar or attached using a plate, badge or tag.

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The Control of Dogs Order 1992 clearly states that anyone responsible for causing or permitting a dog on a highway or public place without a collar will be found guilty of an offence against the Animal Health Act 1981. Although not putting a collar on your dog may seem harmless to some, the offence can be punishable with an eye-watering fine of £2000 and a six month custodial sentence.

Any dog without a collar can be treated as a stray under section 3 of the Dogs Act 1906 or section 149 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. This could mean the animal is seized by the authorities.

Greg Wilson, Founder and CEO of, previously told the ECHO: “With everyone feeling the financial pinch, the last thing pet owners need is a hefty fine for forgetting something so simple as popping the collar on their dog.

“The law may seem harsh, and having your pet seized seems unthinkable, but the rules are in place for good reason. It’s also essential to ensure that details are up to date on the collar and to be aware of the risks of not having the correct information.

“We also recommend that dog owners include their phone numbers on the collar in case of an emergency so that the pet can be safely returned quickly.”

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