Dog Owners Can Be Fined Up To €50,000 For Not Doing This Under Spain’s New Animal Welfare Law

Image of a 'lost dog' with a stick and a bag.

Image of a 'lost dog' with a stick and a bag. Credit: Javier Brosch/

ON September 29, the new Animal Welfare Law will enter into force in Spain.

It will be implemented six months after its publication in the Official State Gazette (BOE) and as provided in said legal text, officially called Law 7/2023, of March 28, it is designed to protect the rights and welfare of animals.

After this date, pet owners will have to adapt to the new stringent measures that this law entails or they could face some very expensive fines.

Many dog owners will have probably already faced the stressful situation of their canine or feline friends suddenly going missing.

They are treated as an extra member of the family and as a result, that creates a certain amount of anxiety in people in their efforts to find a missing animal as quickly as possible.

Owners can be fined up to €50,000 for not reporting a missing dog

Some of the rules are clearer and easier to understand than others. The government insists that these rules are being put in place to protect those most vulnerable and that the new law is a step in the right direction.

One part of the new law establishes the need to contract civil liability insurance for dogs. However, in the event of a pet going missing after September 29, owners must be fully aware of the enormous fines they face for not following the new guidelines.

Starting September 29, owners whose dogs go missing can be fined up to €50,000. The pet must be reported to the authorities within 48 hours of their disappearance. Failure to do so could result in a massive fine according to on Thursday, September 2.

Most owners instinctively resort to sticking ‘missing’ posters everywhere in the area and posting information and images of the missing animal on social media asking people to look out for it. Others sometimes get friends together to go looking for their pets.

The authorities have a responsibility to help you find your pet

From now on, this should not be done at the beginning. To avoid those hefty fines it is essential to first contact the authorities. They must also follow the guidelines laid out and have a responsibility to help the owner locate their pet, either by joining them on the streets to search for it, or by looking online.

Of course, we all know that dogs, especially young pups, can easily slip out of a home without anyone being able to catch them or sometimes we don’t even realise that they have gone until it’s too late.

Dog owners will have to be very attentive in the future if they wish to prevent accumulating huge fines. Of course, if they contact the authorities immediately then at least the stress about a possible fine for that will go away and they can then concentrate on finding their missing pet.

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at


    • Ray

      09 September 2023 • 10:04

      Is there a requirement to have dogs fitted with a chip?

      • Peter phile

        09 September 2023 • 12:51

        Yes.all cats and dogs must be chipped

    • K. Thompson

      09 September 2023 • 17:06

      Yes. Dogs, cats and ferrets must be microchipped in Spain.

    Comments are closed.