From 6 April 2016, a new law requiring all dogs in England over eight weeks old to be microchipped and the owner’s details kept up to date comes into force. Failure to do so could result in a £500 fine.
More than 70% of the stray dogs Borough of Poole Dog Wardens saw reunited with their owners last year were microchipped, but held incorrect details.
Implanted under the skin, each microchip, the size of a grain of rice, has a unique barcode and 15 digit number. Dog Wardens then use handheld scanners to read the code and trace their details held on one of the national pet identification databases.
To ensure dogs and their owners comply with this new legislation, the council’s Dog Wardens are offering to microchip dogs free of charge in April when they call to book an appointment between 6-13 April 2016. This offer is open to all Borough of Poole residents.
Cllr John Rampton, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Environment and Consumer Protection Services, Borough of Poole, said: “Our Dog Wardens are frequently finding that owners’ contact details are not correct when stray dogs are found. This delay in reuniting pets with their owners can cause additional stress to a lost dog as many find the wait in kennels distressing. Whether it’s due to moving house, a change of phone number or owner, it’s important to update this information straight away. If your dog isn’t chipped yet, please take advantage of this offer to keep your pet safe.”
If your dog is already microchipped, you can easily update the stored details by contacting your dog’s registered database directly, or search for it using the microchip number at check-a-chip.co.uk if you’re unsure.
If you have a new dog and do not have any documentation, please contact a vet who will be able to scan for a microchip and inform you of which database the dog is registered with.
Please remember that all dogs in public places must also wear a collar and tag marked with their owner’s name and address, which can also help lead to a quick reunion. However, having a microchip does not exempt you from this legal requirement (The Control of Dogs Order 1992).
To find out more, or to get your dog microchipped by a Dog Warden call 01202 261700. Appointments made after 13 April will be subject to the normal charge of £20.