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Dogs in Sefton

Sefton Council welcomes responsible dog owners to its parks, greenspaces and miles of protected coastline. Please see the information on the Public Spaces Protection Order PSPO - Dog Control which details the requirements that apply to anyone who is in charge of a dog in a shared space.

Stray dogs

Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 each local authority has an obligation to pick up stray dogs. To reclaim their dog, owners must pay a reclaim fee in full before the dog will be released. ​ After seven days, the dog becomes the property of Animals Wardens Ltd who may gift the dog to any rehoming centre across the North West for them to assess its suitability to be rehomed.

Reporting a stray dog

Animal wardens are operating our stray dog service. If you wish to report a stray or lost dog at any time including evenings or at weekends and Bank Holidays, please contact Animal Wardens Ltd via phone 0151 374 2174 or email info@animalwardens.co.uk

The Animal Wardens will only collect a stray dog if it has been secured.

Reclaiming a stray dog

To reclaim their dog, the keeper must contact Animal Wardens on 0151 374 2174 and pay a reclaim fee in full before the dog will be returned.

  • If a dog is reclaimed within 48 hours of arriving at the kennels, the reclaim fee is £80.59 per dog.
  • If a dog is reclaimed after 48 hours of arriving at the kennels, the reclaim fee is £124.85 per dog.

Dangerous or out of control dogs

If you are worried about a dangerous breed, a dog that is out of control, a dangerous or aggressive dog please contact your local police station on 0151 709 6010.

Collar & tag

It is a legal requirement that all dogs must wear a collar and tag (even if microchipped) when in a public place. The tag must be inscribed with the name and address of the owner.

Dogs on the coast

Much of the Sefton coast is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, with a series of nature reserves and protected areas running from Crossens in the north to Waterloo in the south.

Dog owners are encouraged to exercise their pets here but you must clean up any fouling, do not leave dog poo bags in the landscape and ensure your dog is kept under control.

There are two beach dog exclusion zones in place from 1st May to 30th September: 

  • Southport beach is free of dogs starting from the Pier south towards Pleasureland (for 555m) and to the tide line.
  • Ainsdale Beach is free of dogs 200m either side of the main beach entrance and to the tide line.

Both the dog exclusion zones are well signed during the summer season.

Rare species including Natterjack Toads and Great Crested Newts use the many pools in the dunes – dogs MUST be kept out of these areas of water so these protected species can survive.

Dogs should also be kept away from birds on the beach, especially large flocks of roosting waders, terns and gulls, all of which use this coastline as an essential stop off or breeding site along the East Atlantic Flyway. It is a criminal offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 to allow your dog to disturb these birds.

Pets should also be controlled so they do not disturb ground-nesting birds in the dunes. Nesting species are also protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. Threatened species including Skylarks are vulnerable and can be found throughout the Sefton dune system.

Dogs should also be kept under close control and way from all livestock (sheep, cows etc.) on the coast.


Last Updated on Thursday, May 9, 2024

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