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

When a dog is on a highway or in a public place, it must wear a collar with the name and address of the owner inscribed on the collar or on a plate or tag attached to it. Although it is not a legal requirement, a phone number is useful in case your dog is found straying. If your pet has a tag there is a good chance that the person who will ring you and we will not get involved. Remember, if we pick up a lost dog you will have to pay for its return.

Find out more about microchipping your pet on the RSPCA website. Additionally, you can click here for some more information on microchipping.

RSPCA Campaign

The City Council is supporting 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 you keep bitches at any premises in Newcastle, and they give birth to 5 or more litters during a period of 12 months, you must obtain a Dog Breeding Licence.

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 £75, 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.

We have adopted the Dogs on Lead by Direction (City of Newcastle upon Tyne) Order 2012 under the Clean Neighbourhoods & Environment Act 2005.

This means where a dog is causing a nuisance, such as running into traffic or chasing people in a park, a council or police officer may direct 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.
View our Dogs on Leads by Direction 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: 
22 January 2018
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