Remember to chip your dog

Posted on: 4 April 2016

Dog owners in North Devon are being reminded their pets must legally be microchipped by Wednesday 6 April, with their keeper contact details kept up to date.

The new law, The Microchipping of Dogs (England) Regulations 2015, comes at a time when stray dog numbers are increasing in North Devon. For example, since 1 April 2015, North Devon Council’s dog warden service has dealt with 159 stray dogs, compared to 76 strays the previous year. Out of the 159 dogs, just 41 were microchipped.

Cllr Rodney Cann, Executive Member for Environment, says: “Collecting stray dogs and trying to reunite them with their owners or keepers is an ever challenging duty for our dog wardens. With the number of call-outs increasing, this is a worrying trend and we want to raise awareness of this. I’d encourage people to ensure they think carefully before they take on a pet, as well as think about the security of their homes and gardens. Microchipping will make a real difference, so if a dog should still stray, we can quickly contact the rightful owner, reuniting them with their pet without delay.”

The new law does not confirm proof of ownership, but rather who the ‘keeper’ of the dog is. Therefore, if a dog strays, bites or causes any damage, the keeper would be liable for that dog.

If a dog is not microchipped or its keeper’s details are not registered on an approved database, it will be considered as not complying with the regulations and a notice may be served. Then, if a keeper does not microchip their dog within 21 days of the served notice, they will be liable to pay a fine of £500.

Most vets offer a microchipping service, along with some local organisations and animal charities, although prices may vary. For more details, please contact them direct or go to www.chipmydog.org.uk.

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