Dog owners urged to microchip pets following prosecution
01 Apr 2019 ARCHIVED (over 3 months old) - view latest news
Dog owners are being reminded by Northumberland County Council that it is a legal requirement to microchip their dogs and ensure the details stored on the chip are up-to-date. Failure to do so could lead to a prosecution and fine.
The reminder follows a recent prosecution by the Housing and Public Protection Animal Welfare Team.
On Monday (25th March) Mid and South East Northumberland Magistrates fined a Cramlington woman a total of £584 for failing to update her pet’s ownership details despite being requested to do so after her pet Shih Tzu dog was found roaming the streets of Cramlington.
The dog had been found as a stray on Thursday 25th October 2018 and returned to her on Friday 26th October 2018 with a 21 day microchipping notice. A cost of £16 is currently in place to update ownership/contact details. Failure to update the details resulted in the court appearance and a much larger financial penalty.
Microchipping is in place to enable identification of a dog and helps authorities reunite stray pets with their owners. Updated microchips also act as a deterrent to dog theft and give vets and officials the ability to easily contact an owner in an emergency.
Since April 2016, all dogs have to be microchipped from 8 weeks old, so it is advised that before you buy a dog, you ensure it is already microchipped and that you update the contact details as necessary.
In order for microchip data to be useful, the details recorded must be up to date. Therefore owners who move house, or even change their mobile telephone number should remember to ensure their dog’s microchip details are updated.
Incorrect or out-of-date information means that your dog is not legally considered as microchipped. Owners should also be aware that dogs must still wear a collar and tag with the owner’s details on it, as well as being microchipped.
Mr Philip Soderquest, Head of Housing and Public Protection said:
“Our Animal Welfare Team work hard to keep unsupervised animals off the street as stray animals can pose a danger to themselves and to others. It’s very important that we raise public awareness of the law around microchipping so dog owners are clear on the steps they need to take to act responsibly in keeping their pets safe.
“When a dog goes missing it can be distressing for both the dog and their owner. Having your pet microchipped is quick and painless for them and increases the chances of you being reunited with your dog if they go missing."
You can get your dog microchipped by contacting your local vet, or the county council.
Anyone who is facing difficulty in microchipping their dogs or needs further advice, is advised to contact the council on 0345 600 6400.