Protect your dog – chip it and check it

Posted on: 27 February 2018

It’s almost two years since microchipping laws came into force, but not all North Devon dog owners are complying, making it difficult to reunite lost dogs with their owners.

In April 2016 the government introduced legislation making it compulsory for dog owners to microchip their pets and keep the details up to date.  Last year the council’s dog wardens picked up 243 lost or stray dogs in the district.

As part of its Clear Messages campaign, the council’s Environmental Protection team is urging local dog owners to keep their pets’ microchip details up to date so that lost dogs can be reunited with their owners quickly and in turn cut down on the cost of kennel fees and council time.

Executive member for Environment Councillor Rodney Cann, says: “We know there are lots of loving dog owners in North Devon, myself included, and yet lots of people are failing to microchip their dogs and many more forget to update the chip details when they move house or get a new mobile number. As well as causing unnecessary stress and anxiety to you and your dog, failing to chip your dog and keep the details up to date could result in a £500 fine. Protect your pet – chip it, check it and keep it up to date.”

North Devon Council Neighbourhood Officer, Ray Jones, says: “As well as complying with the law, there are good reasons to microchip your dog. If we pick up a lost dog and it’s chipped we can reunite it with the owner in a matter or hours, rather than days. Even better, if your dog is wearing a collar and tag with your phone number, the person who finds the dog may not even have to call us. There is a statutory fee for every dog we pick up and if we have the dog for any length of time, there is the cost of kenneling on top of this. If we pick up your dog and it isn’t chipped, we won’t hit you with a £500 fine – you will be given a reasonable amount of time to get your dog chipped and we can help advise you how to do this.”

What can dog owners do to help?

  • Make sure your dog is microchipped – record the number and database name somewhere safe
  • Remember to update the database when your contact details change
  • Ensure your dog wears a collar and tag in public – postcode and phone number, not the name of the dog
  • Avoid leaving your dog tied up and unattended in public areas
  • Avoid letting your dog out unaccompanied
  • Ensure your garden and other areas are properly enclosed
  • Be aware of things that could ‘spook’ or scare your dog when off the lead
  • Report your dog lost soon as you know
  • Send us a photo and microchip number of your lost dog
  • Check the council’s Facebook page and consider posting the loss on social media

There is lots of information about microchipping and other dog related issues on the council’s website

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