Buying a dog or cat

Animal lovers should take care when buying a new pet. Do not buy a cat or dog from an unknown source and be careful when buying animals advertised on the internet or in a newspaper. Illegally imported dogs and cats may carry diseases such as rabies and advertising may mislead you on details about the animal's history, breed or pedigree. DEFRA have produced a guide to the basic checks you should carry out when buying a cat or dog. View the DEFRA guidance.

To access a recently published leaflet advising consumers of the dangers of buying puppies from certain businesses go to Leaflet (pdf 119 kb)  

Identification and microchipping

Under the Microchipping of Dogs England Regulations 2015 (SI 2015 No. 108) it is compulsory for all dogs over the age of 8 weeks in England to be fitted with a microchip. Dogs must be microchipped and registered on one of the databases approved by the Government. Dog owners are responsible for keeping their dog's microchip information up to date, for example if people move house. Dog owners should make contact with the database company their dog is registered with to make any changes that are necessary.

The only exemption from the requirement to microchip a dog is where a vet has certified in writing that a dog is unfit to be microchipped

A pet microchip is a tiny computer chip that's about the size of a grain of rice. It contains a unique code that matches up the pet's details. Microchipping a dog is a quick and simple procedure but must be carried out by a trained professional such as a vet.

Faliure to comply with the legislation on microchipping can lead to a fine of £500. 

For more information go to

RSPCA Campaign

The City Council continues to support the RSPCA's annual "Dogs Die in Hot Cars" campaign. To see the video of a man who was prosecuted by the charity for leaving his three dogs in his car while he went to the gym and all three dogs died go to video

Importing animals and travelling with pets

The Pet Travel Scheme regulates the movement of pets depending on which country you are going to or coming from. There is a comprehensive guide to the legislation and rules regarding the transport of pets provided by DEFRA. You can also read Government legislation on pet travel.

Dog breeding licence

If anyone is involved in either or both of the following, they require a Licence to Breed Dogs

  1. breeding three or more litters of puppies in any 12-month period
  2. breeding dogs and advertising a business of selling dogs

The activity described above does not include-

  1. keeping a dog on any premises pursuant to a requirement imposed under, or having effect by virtue of the Animal Health Act 1981
  2. breeding only assistance dogs or dogs intended to be used as assistance dogs within the meaning of Section 173 of the Equality Act 2010, or
  3. breeding three or more litters of puppies in any 12-month period if the person carrying on the activity provides documentary evidence that none of them have been sold (whether as puppies or as adult dogs).

Boarding of Dogs

If anyone is involved with the boarding of cats and dogs they require a Licence to Board Cats and Dogs

Dog fouling

Report a problem with dog fouling in your area

Public areas such as parks, playgrounds and pavements must be kept clear of dog mess. Not only is dog fouling unpleasant it spreads diseases which can cause illness and blindness. Please help by clearing up after your dog. If you don't you may face a fixed penalty notice of £100, with a maximum penalty of £1000. For more information about dog fouling offences or to pay a fixed penalty notice

A person who is registered blind and in charge of a registered guide dog is excluded from the requirement to clean up the dog's mess. Disabled persons in charge of an assist dog are also exempt if they have a physical impairment which affects their mobility.

Controlling your dog in public

It is against the law to let a dog be dangerously out of control:

  • in a public place, or
  • in a private place where the dog isn't allowed to be (for example a neighbour's garden without permission).

The law applies to all dogs. Find out more about controlling your dog in public.

Under the city's Public Spaces Protection Order a police constable, police community support officer, or an authorised council officer, may request a person in charge of a dog in a public place, to put and keep the dog on a lead. This means where a dog is causing a nuisance, such as running into traffic or chasing people in a park, a direction may be given that the dog be put on a lead and kept on that lead. It is an offence not to comply with such a direction.

The requirement to comply with a direction from an authorised officer applies to any land which is open to the air and to which the public are entitled or permitted to have access (with or without payment).  Such land across the whole of Newcastle upon Tyne has been designated for the purposes of this Order.

Report a dangerous dog 

Anyone can report a dog and their owner to Northumbria Police. You can also report a dangerous dog to the Dog Warden by phoning 0191 2116102 during office hours.

It is an owner's responsibility to make sure their dog behaves in public and is not out of control. If it causes an accident or injury, the owner may be liable.

More information about dangerous dogs can be found on the Government's banned dogs webpage.

Useful external links

Page last updated: 
4 October 2018
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