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Dog Control

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The Council's Environmental Services Department isvery cute dog
responsible for dealing with issues relating to dog control, including stray dogs, attacks on persons and livestock, and fouling.


Stray Dogs

Stray dogs are animals which are unaccompanied and
away from land on which they are permitted.

The Council's Dog Wardens will detain any stray dogs they catch. In the first instance, they will try to identify the owner but if this is not possible or practicable, the dog will be taken to the Council's kenneling provider at  40 Tobercorran Road, Downpatrick.

Stray dogs may be reclaimed, the owner being required to provide evidence that the dog is licensed or that a licence application has been made. A reclaim fee and any veterinarian fees incurred must also be paid at the time of reclaiming. The reclaim fee is currently set at a flat fee of £35 regardless of the length of time the dog has been held.

Where a dog is not reclaimed within the statutory period of 5 days, it then becomes the property of the kenneling provider and may be humanely destroyed or sold, if suitable for re-homing. 

Dog Attacks

The Wardens respond to reports of dog attacks on people and livestock. The Officer will meet with the complainant, record details of the alleged attack, interview other witnesses and gather information in order to identify the owner of the dog.

Where possible the Officer will subsequently interview the dog owner, record statements and view the dog in question.

Once all relevant information has been obtained, the Council will determine an appropriate course of action. 

Dog Licencing

Dog Licence Application/Renewal Form 

Click Here: LICENCE YOUR DOG ONLINE (Please note: In order to licence a dog it must be micro-chipped.)

Do you own a dog? – These changes in legislation may affect you!

Down District Council is responsible for enforcing the law on the control of dogs within the District. New legislation commencing on 3rd October 2011 means changes for dog owners on a number of issues to include increased licence fees across Northern Ireland and additional offences, for example, making it an offence for your dog to attack another domestic animal.

From 3rd October 2011 the licence fee for a dog will change. 

Licence Fee Category


Any 'assistance dog' will be exempt


Over 65s First Dog


Over 65s Subsequent Dogs


Concessionary rate for owners on Means Tested Benefits


Any dog which is neutered


Normal licence


Block licence (qualifying conditions apply)


Regardless of the Licence Fee Category, each dog owner is still required to complete an application form to allow us to issue a dog licence tag. (i.e. ‘Over 65s First Dog’)

Should your dog licence be expired and you apply for a licence on or after 3rd October 2011 the new rates will apply.

These changes are being introduced as part of a review of dog control legislation in Northern Ireland and designed to promote responsible dog ownership. It also reflects the high costs of providing a dog control service. All dog owners are urged to be responsible for their dogs and to ensure compliance under the new legislation to minimise prosecutions and fixed penalties issued.

Should you require any further information on the changes in the legislation or to make a payment please contact your Council’s on 028 44610808.


Environmental Health
Downshire Civic Centre
Downshire Estate
Ardglass Road
BT30 6GQ
T: 0 28 4461 0823