Details of stray dogs which have been handed into the Council or picked up by the Council’s Dog Welfare team are now available on the Cornwall Council website.

The service has been launched as, for the second year running, the number of stray dog handed into the Council has fallen.

From April 2013 to April 2014, there were 1,295 stray dogs reported to the Council – down from 1,574 in 2012/13; a reduction of 247.

The council’s head of public health and protection Allan Hampshire said: “We have a robust system in place for re-charging the owners of stray dogs for the costs incurred by the Council in picking up strays and arranging for them to be looked after. The onus has to be on dog owners to make sure that their dogs do not stray. A stray dog will foul and can potentially be a danger to road users and others.

"The onus is also on the owner to make sure that their dog has an id tag and is micro-chipped so that dog and owner can be reunited quickly.

"We hope that the free dog micro-chipping events we have held in partnership with Dog’s Trust over the past few months, which has seen over 1500 dogs micro-chipped, will lead to a further reduction in the number of stray dogs reported to the Council. In partnership with Dogs Trust, we are able to offer free dog micro chipping until March 2015.

To book an appointment, just call dog welfare and enforcement on 0300 1234 212.”

The stray dog register has always been available for the public to view at any reasonable time however, it is now published as a live document on the council’s website and will automatically update when a new case is reported to the council. It is hoped that this will help the owners of lost dogs to locate their pets and to overall increase the number of stray dogs that are returned to their owners.

However, owners should be aware that the council is not available to return dogs outside of normal office hours. The council has a duty to provide a minimum of one drop off location to receive stray dogs out of hours and its collection service exceeds this minimum requirement and ensures that stray dogs are in a safe location. All dogs are housed at licensed boarding establishments and the dog’s welfare is an important consideration during their stay in kennels.

When the dog is returned to the owner or re-homed via an appropriate charity, the dog’s details will be taken off the website.

Cornwall Council cabinet member for homes and communities Geoff Brown said “Clearly we have a duty to pick up stray dogs and in so doing keep the public safe, protect the animal from harm and hopefully reunite dog and owner. It is pleasing to see that although a significant figure the number of strays is reducing and this is I am sure is due to our very responsible dog owners but when a dog does go walk about, our team are often able to assist in its recovery.”

Organisations such as Dog Lost will be directing the owners of lost dogs to the Council’s website so that they can check to see if their dog has been reported to the Council.