Reuniting lost or stolen dogs with their owners will become much easier soon thanks to new legislation coming into force this spring.
Dog Wardens at Chichester District Council are urging owners to ensure their canine buddies are microchipped by 6 April. From this date all dogs must be microchipped by law.
The rules apply to any dog aged over eight weeks and breeders will be responsible for microchipping puppies before they are sold.
In addition, owners are also expected to ensure that their dogs are wearing an identity tag with the owner’s address details when in public places. And as well as having their pet microchipped, it will also be compulsory for the microchip details to be kept up-to-date with the dog owner’s current details i.e. where the dog normally lives.
Only an authorised person such as a vet or someone who has completed an approved training course is allowed to microchip a dog and owners are urged to look online at www.dogsttrust.org.uk for information.
“Our Dog Wardens deal with numerous cases of lost and straying dogs each year and microchipping will really help many more people be reunited with their best friends,” says Councillor Roger Barrow, Cabinet Member for Environment at Chichester District Council. “Lots of people have already had their dogs microchipped but we just want to remind those people who have not yet done so that the change in law is just around the corner. As a district of dog lovers, I would urge all owners to ensure the details are kept up-to-date so we can see more happy endings if dogs go astray.”
The council’s Dog Wardens carry scanners with them so they can check to see if a dog has a microchip.
If a dog does go missing the owner needs to inform the council’s Dog Warden service and the microchip data base company where the pet is registered.
Last year the number of stray dogs seized by the council’s Dog Wardens halved compared to 2014 although around 30% of the strays seized remain unclaimed. The council’s Dog Wardens make every effort to rehome any unclaimed strays and last year placed more than 31 dogs with rescue societies.