Help secure your dog with free microchip
Dog’s Trust offering service ahead of law change
HAREFIELD Dog’s Trust will be microchipping pooches for free, ahead of new laws coming into force for dog owners.
From April 6 2016, Hillingdon Council will be enforcing new laws that make it compulsory for all dogs over eight weeks of age to be fitted with microchips, making it much easier to reunite owners with their lost hounds.
Not only will microchips secure the safer and speedier return of lost dogs, they will also significantly reduce the £33 million that welfare charities and the taxpayer spend on lost and stray dogs annually.
Harefield charity, The Dog’s Trust, along with a number of other charities and veterinary practices, are offering to microchip dogs free of charge before the new requirement comes into effect.
Richard Moore, Dogs Trust Harefield Rehoming Centre Manager, said: “Dogs Trust welcomes the new compulsory microchipping legalisation coming into effect on April 6.
“Losing a dog is an extremely upsetting time for both dog and dog owner and microchipping increases the likelihood that a dog will be reunited with their owner in the event they are lost.
“It is vital that the microchip details are kept up to date.”
In 2015, 5,630 unclaimed and unwanted dogs were left in council kennels across the region as these dogs could not be reunited with their owners.
Mr Moore said: “Stray dogs that find themselves at Dogs Trust Harefield are the lucky ones, as we will care for a dog for its entire life if needed.
“In 2015 alone Dogs Trust has microchipped over 185,000 dogs for free across our network of Rehoming Centres and we’re still working tirelessly to ensure even more dogs are given these painless but essential pieces of technology before April.
“Currently, at Dogs Trust Harefield there are 60 stray, unwanted and abandoned dogs looking for their forever home.”
Microchips will be registered on a database, which will store the keepers’ contact details and the dogs’ name, gender, breed and colour. Breeders will be responsible for microchipping their puppies and only dogs that a vet has certified in writing as unfit for microchipping will be exempt.
Keepers of dogs who are found without microchips will be given 21 days to fit them, failure to comply could result in prosecution and a £500 fine.
Cllr Jonathan Bianco, Hillingdon Cabinet Member for Finance, Property and Business Services, said: “Responsible dog ownership is so important and microchipping will clearly reduce the trauma and upset caused to both owners and dogs when they go missing.
“I would encourage all dog keepers in the borough to take advantage of the free microchipping that is on offer until the 6 April, when the new rules come into effect.”
Dog owners are also reminded that it is still an offence for a dog to be in public without a collar and a tag that lists the owner’s contact details, even if it is microchipped.
If your dog does go missing you must call the council as quickly as possible.
In Hillingdon the council will care for a lost dog for seven days. After this Hillingdon Council works with animal charities to find a loving home.
To find out more information on microchip databases and how to update a microchip, please visit www.chipmydog.org.uk/updateyour-dogs-chip