People who stumble across stray dogs should get in touch with their local council rather than the police.
That's the message from South Lakeland District Council - they're concerned many people don't know what to do if they see a stray.
The council currently sends the strays to a kennel in Milnthorpe where routine checks are carried out to try and find the owner.
If a dog hasn't been microchipped they use other methods such as social media.
The council wants people to be aware of the following points:
- Any dog can be treated as a stray if it is roaming freely, even if it's wearing a collar
- Members of the public should report stray dogs to the council, not the police, as the council is responsible
- If an owner is traced the dog will be returned to them and the owner issued with a warning.
- If the dog is found again in the next 12 months it will be taken straight to the kennels.
- If you find a stray dog you have a duty to return it to its owner or contact the local council. People who ignore this and keep stray dogs could be accused of theft.