Dog rules & responsibilities in Guernsey
Are you a doggy parent in Guernsey, or thinking of becoming one?
As a doggy parent, you need to contact your local parish by 31 January each year to pay your dog tax fee of £10 per pooch, as well as providing them with the following information:
- Your Name
- Your Address
- Contact telephone number
- Breed of your dog
- Name of your dog
Once you have done this, you will be issued with a licence and a plastic doggy tag labelled with a letter which refers to your given parish. The colour of the tags change each year.
If your form is received after 31 January or you fail to pay your tax fee, you could be charged £500 in accordance with the Dog Licences (Guernsey) Law, 1969 (as amended).
All dogs aged six months or more must be licensed each year under the Dog Licences (Guernsey) Law, 1969 (as amended). Each licence is specific to one pooch and can’t be transferred to another.
You don’t need a licence if the dog is:
• Younger than six months old
• An assistance dog
A reduced rate of tax will be applied in the first year of licencing for:
• Mature dogs not previously licensed on the island after 1st July
• For puppies under the age of 6 months
Tell your parish if:
• You move addresses
• You sell or re-home your dog
• Your dog dies
• There are any changes to your dog’s microchip
For more information visit your local parish’s website or the States of Guernsey website.
What are my obligations as a dog parent?
1. A collar for your dog
Your doggy must wear a collar and tag inscribed with your name, address, and contact number when in any public place or highway. This will help reunite you and your best buddy if he or she wanders off, and helps you to avoid incurring collection and housing charges. If your furry friend doesn’t have an inscribed collar, you risk being fined.
2. Walking your dog
You are welcome to walk your pooch on most of Guernsey’s beaches at any time of the year; however there are a number of beaches where dogs are banned between 1st May and 30th September:
• Petit Bot
• Vazon (Northern end)
• Port Soif
• Lihou Island and Lihou causeway (ban in place all year round)
The three beaches with no dog restrictions (i.e. you can walk your dog off the lead all year round) are:
- Bordeaux Harbour
- Havelet Bay
- Saints Bay
Dog owners are asked to respect the year round voluntary dog ban on the Richmond (southern) end of Vazon Bay, as this is an important area for wading birds.
Dog owners should always prevent their dog from chasing or disturbing wildlife, especially birds. Birds are particularly vulnerable during the breeding season which takes place from February to July.
Unfortunately, dogs are not allowed at any time in the following areas in Herm – Shell Beach, Belvoir Bay, Fisherman’s Beach and the stretch of beach in front of the White House Hotel to the Harbour jetty are also prohibited areas.
Dogs are allowed in many of Guernsey’s parks but most have specific rules. Unfortunately, dogs are not allowed at any time in the following areas:
- Children’s play areas
- La Vallette Bathing Pools
- Specified public sports and playing fields unless the dog is on a lead and under close supervision (Delancey Park, Beau Sejour Park, Cambridge Park, Victoria Avenue, Saumarez Park, L’Ancresse Common, Rovers Playing Field at Port Soif)
- Certain areas of St. Peter Port and St. Sampson’s, unless the dog is on a lead and under close supervision
If you’re near livestock, please keep your dog on a lead as it is an offence to allow them to worry livestock.
3. Dog poop
In Guernsey, dog owners have a legal responsibility to remove any faeces deposited by their dog in a public place. The Control of Dogs Ordinance (1992) affects all public places island wide and at all times. Please bag your dog’s poop and leave it in a suitable bin (often labelled as accepting dog poop), otherwise you can be fined £100 or prosecuted if you don’t…
4. Lost or stray dogs
If you find a pooch with a tag, try to contact their owner first. If you find a stray without a tag, or you cannot reach their owner, he or she should be reported to the GSPCA on 01481 257 261. This number is manned 24/7 as they operate a collection service for stray dogs – each year the GSPCA helps to reunite around 200 dogs with their parents.
It is also a good idea to contact your nearest vet to register a missing pet. You can find the contact details for vets in Guernsey by searching whizzdog.com.
Please note that out of normal working hours, the GSPCA reports stray dogs to Guernsey Police for their information, but they are looked after at the Animal Shelter in St. Andrews.