Scanning of Stray and Dead Dogs

In January 2010, GRW contacted all 22 local authorities in Wales and the three Trunk Road Agencies. Like most responsible animal welfare charities, GRW insists on all dogs in its care being microchipped and wanted to check local Councils would scan any dog found straying, and also how they deal with dog fatalities as a result of a road accident.


The table below lists all 22 Councils and their responses. All Councils claim that if they find a dog wearing a collar and tag (which is a legal requirement) then they will attempt to contact the owner. The table below simply reports the answers given by the Councils we do not speculate on how Councils can recognise a first time offenders.

For dead dogs, none of the Trunk Road Agencies in Wales scan fatalities. In England, the Highways Agency (equivalent organisation) does.

A number of Councils pointed out that even if a dog is microchipped, sometimes the chip can move round the body and not be easily read or can fail after a number of years. The charity agrees and understands that microchipping is not an infallible form of identification.


A further point raised was that when a dog is scanned, and a chip is present, strays in particular are often found to have contact information that is out of date the charity strongly recommends all dog owners ensure that their details are correct and updated on databases used.


NB Anglesey and Gwynedd Councils have their own Voluntary Dog Registration Schemes. Any dog found straying in these areas that is a member of the scheme will be returned directly to its owner without going into the pound kennels. These systems have holiday membership available if you are planning a trip to these areas with your dog. A small fee is payable (typically around £3) you can find further details on the Councils websites.


The following Councils will unequivocally scan both live and dead dogs “ Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Flintshire, Monmouthshire, Swansea and Wrexham.

The following Councils do not routinely scan dead dogs and do not always scan live strays “ if your dog has strayed in or near one of these areas, you should NOT assume you will be contacted. Anglesey*, Bridgend, Ceredigion, Conwy, Vale of Glamorgan, Neath Port Talbot.

*Except for dogs in Voluntary Scheme


Name of Authority Policy on Scanning Stray Dogs Policy on ID of dead dogs
Anglesey Council Yes “ on first occasion. Taken to kennels on subsequent collections. Do not currently scan dead dogs.
Blaenau Gwent Yes. Owners will be contacted by phone and in writing. Dead dogs are scanned for microchips and owner notified if found.
Bridgend Dog warden has discretion to contact, not automatic. Out of hours kennels will contact. Department responsible does not have access to a scanner. Dead animals (both dogs and cats) have breed and markings recorded for identification if the owner calls then animal is sent for cremation at pet crematorium.
Caerphilly Yes. Taken to depot and scanned. If present, owner notified.
Cardiff Yes. No scanning.
Carmarthenshire Yes. No scanning, but will contact owners if details are available via collar.
Ceredigion Where duties allow. “Repeat offenders” taken straight to pound. Domestic pets taken to depot, for storing in freezers before ultimate disposal. Local attempts made to identify and community wardens do scan for chips.
Conwy Yes on first occasion. Taken to kennels on subsequent collections. Dead dogs not scanned.
Denbighshire Yes, by both dog warden and out of hours kennel service. Owner contacted. Dead dogs not scanned. Note made of breed.
Flintshire Yes. Dead dogs are scanned for microchips and owner notified if found.
Gwynedd Yes. Dead dogs not scanned.
Merthyr Tydfil Yes. Dead dogs not scanned.
Monmouthshire Yes. If body is complete, description noted and warden will scan, then contact owners if possible. When a dog is picked up by the Highways section out of hours or off a trunk road the dog is not scanned (management reluctant to provide equipment).
Neath Port Talbot Yes, but dogs who stray repeatedly may be taken straight to pound. Cleansing teams pick up dead dogs and do not carry scanners. However, dog wardens will scan dead dogs if looking for a specific animal.
Newport Yes. Dead dogs not scanned. Taken to pet crematorium at Redwick.
Pembrokeshire Yes. Dead dogs picked up by refuse teams who do not have scanners. Will inform dog wardens of dogs collected and will allow scanning by wardens on request before disposal.
Powys Yes. Dead dogs not scanned. Record kept of location found and description, dog kept in depot for short while in case owner reclaims.
Rhondda Cynon Taff Yes. Highways staff will bring dead dogs found into animal pound for scanning. If chip present, owners informed of the dog’s location and given the option to collect the body.
Swansea Yes. Dead dogs collected and scanned. Also scan cats where practicable. Owners contacted where practicable. If unable to contact, body sent for disposal.
Torfaen Yes. Do not check dogs for micro chips, although do check for collars and ID tags. If no ID tags the animals are kept 24hrs before being disposed of.
Vale of Glamorgan Dog wardens will scan and reasonable attempts made to return animal if first time stray if repeat offender, straight to kennels. Out of hours service does NOT scan dogs as not contracted to. Dogs picked up and note taken of location and description if owner contacts. No scanning. Body taken to depot and stored >3 months before disposal at pet crematorium.
Wrexham Yes Dead dogs are scanned for microchips and owner notified if found.