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Animal welfare

Domestic animal cruelty

If you're worried about pets or animals which are being neglected, mistreated, or abused, contact the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999.

You can find out more about reporting animal cruelty or animals in distress on the RSPCA website.


Keeping dogs outside

Dog owners may choose to keep their dog outside for a number of reasons, and it is not illegal to do this.

If a dog is kept outside, it's important that the environment is safe, and the dog’s basic health and wellbeing needs are met. The RSPCA website has advice on the expected standards of care for dogs left outside.

If the dog has a suitable environment and its health and wellbeing needs are being met, it is not possible to take action against the owner under animal welfare laws.

If you're worried the dog is being mistreated, kept in unsafe conditions, or not having its basic health and welfare needs met, you should contact the RSPCA. They will take action if there is enough evidence of neglect.

Dogs left alone

Dogs are often left alone while their owners are at work or otherwise out of the house. Some dogs can become anxious or protective, and this can lead to them barking or showing other worrying behaviours.

The RSPCA provides advice on separation anxiety and training dogs to be left alone. They would not be able to take action against the owner unless there was evidence of the dog being mistreated.

Dogs barking

The Public Protection Service can investigate complaints of excessive noise from barking. If you're being significantly disturbed by a dog barking, you can make a noise nuisance complaint. You can find out more about making a complaint about noise from barking on the noise pollution page.