Help se­cure your dog with free mi­crochip

Dog’s Trust of­fer­ing ser­vice ahead of law change

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS -

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

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