IRRESPONSIBLE dog owners could be charged hundreds of pounds for letting their dogs stray under a strict new crackdown announced by Barnsley Council.

A new dog warden has been appointed to crack down after it emerged 460 stray dogs were retrieved and kennelled by the warden last year.

A spokesman said: "If a dog is impounded, the owner will be required to pay the daily kennelling fees plus a statutory charge before the dog is returned.

"These charges can be nearly £100 for seven days in kennels. It is therefore important for owners to tell the dog warden service quickly if a dog has gone missing to avoid these charges escalating."

New guidelines issued by the council this week remind all dog owners that it is the law for dogs to wear a collar and identity tag which holds the owner's name and address.

People who find a lost dog are legally required to report it to the council.

The spokesman added: "People are advised not to advertise it on social media sites, as it has been known that fraudsters scroll through these sites in order to falsely claim they are the owner, just to make money by the selling the dog - particularly pedigree breeds."

To report a stray dog or report a dog as missing please contact Barnsley Council’s dog warden service during office hours on 772468.

People who find a dog after 5pm or at weekends may be able to drop it off at the council’s out of hours kennels, Cliffe Kennels at Hoylandswaine, before 9pm. Please call 07979 414483.