Animals welfare services

The animal warden service positively encourages responsible pet ownership. It reminds dog owners of the importance of


Regular worming (treatment available from the vet) keeps the dog healthy and the faeces free of the harmful roundworm eggs which, if left, can develop into larvae which cause the toxocara infection. Once in the human bloodstream, this can result in illness or even blindness, so it is of particular concern where children play on grassed areas.

Flea treatment

Dogs and cats should be kept free of these parasites by regular application of flea treatment available from the vet. An animal with fleas suffers immense discomfort, not to mention serious illness if left untreated. The owner who overlooks preventative flea treatment can expect high vet bills, lengthy treatment of home and pet - and a few bites round the ankles!


Puppies and kittens require a course of vaccinations followed by an annual booster through adulthood to protect them from serious common illnesses. No reputable kennels will accept a pet for boarding without an up-to-date vaccination certificate signed by a vet.


Neutering is a routine operation which prevents pets from producing young and reduces some common behavioural problems in dogs and cats. The vet can perform the operation on pets from six months of age onwards. Neutering prevents the birth of thousands of puppies and kittens each year for which there are not enough good homes to go round. The council works in partnership with a local veterinary surgeon to provide subsidized neutering of cats and free neutering of bull terrier type dogs – call the Animal Neutering Clinic on 020 7987 3045.

Collar and tag

Under the Control of Dogs Order 1992, all dogs when out in a public place must wear a collar and tag with the name and address of the owner inscribed on it.

Dog training

There are daytime classes in Bethnal Green and the Animal Warden Service holds details of nearby training schools which have classes the evening. Sometimes, the Animal Warden Service puts on free puppy training courses on local estates - phone 020 7364 5000 for details.

Animal cruelty

Reports of animal mis-treatment or neglect should be directed to the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999.


Permanent identification of pets by implanting a tiny chip bearing a unique number underneath the animal's skin at the back of the neck. Dog wardens, police and animal rescue centres routinely scan dogs which come into their care with a special reader and, by checking the number against a central database, can swiftly connect lost pets with owners anywhere in the country.

Tower Hamlets' Animal Warden Service is pleased to offer microchipping to the borough's residents at the cost price of £16 per pet. Dog (or cat) owners who wish to take advantage of this offer should call 020 7364 5008 for payment and appointment details.

Keeping control

Every dog owner is responsible for his/her dog's behaviour at all times. Dogs must be kept under the control of a responsible adult and must not be allowed to stray onto the public highway. Dogs should be exercised on leads and should be muzzled where necessary. Young children should not be allowed to exercise dogs unsupervised. Dogs must be kept on lead on all roads in Tower Hamlets – not to do so  is an offence under Section 27 of the Road Traffic Act 1948.


The Animal Warden Service gives talks in schools to teach children how to act around strange dogs to avoid getting bitten. Children are often surprised to learn that it is better to stand still than to run away! The dog wardens take a dog (or two) into school boost the children's confidence as they practise the prevent-a-bite code.

Related services

  • Pest control
  • Stray dogs