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If you find an injured or sick animal, you can phone a local vet who will be able to provide advice.

If you wish to catch and transport the animal, a vet will also be able to advise you how to do this safely. See the link in Related Information to find a local vet.

For larger injured wildlife, phone the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999 and do not try to catch the animal yourself.

The following animals cannot be handled or transported by the public:

  • an injured deer
  • seal
  • wild boar
  • otter
  • badger
  • fox
  • snake
  • bird of prey (including owls)
  • swan
  • goose
  • heron
  • gull


The police do not have the authority to break into a house to rescue a stranded cat. Try and entice the cat out with food or try and find the owner of the property. If all else fails contact the RSPCA (Tel 0300 1234 999). However, they have limited resources and will only help if the animal is in immediate danger. It is more than likely that when the cat gets hungry it will leave the house the same way it got in.


Unfortunately, a cat does not fall within the remit of the Road Traffic Act and therefore you do not need to report the incident to the police as long as there are no other factors involved, for example:

• Damage to another vehicle
• Injury to another person
• Injury to animals including cattle, mules, sheep, pigs, goat, dogs or horses
• Damage to other property forming parts of land / adjacent to land on road in question

It may be advisable, if possible, to make a few enquiries to find the owner of the cat so that they can be informed of the situation. If you cannot find the owner of the cat, you could take it to the nearest vets as most cats are now microchipped - the vet can scan the cat and contact the owner. Alternatively, you can contact your local council in order for them to clear away the remains.

See the website in Related Information to find your local authority.


There have been decisions in the past by courts and authorities to suggest that it is the nature of a dog to kill and wound small animals. As such, unfortunately there is no certainty that the police could take action, in the event of your pet being killed or wounded by a dog.

The police will however take action if the dog was dangerously out of control (see Q653 for more information on this).

If the police cannot take action under the circumstances, the other viable alternative is to pursue civil proceedings against the dog owner. In this event, we would recommend contacting the Citizens Advice for further guidance on this process.

This answer does not take into account deliberate attacks or dog fights which are separate offences.

Contact your local police force

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