STOCKTON-on-Tees Borough Council is helping dog owners stay one step ahead of the law by offering free microchipping sessions for their pets.
New legislation being introduced on April 6 will make it compulsory for dog owners to get their pets chipped and failure to do so could result in a £500 fine.
The Council’s Animal Welfare Team is offering free microchipping appointments on the second and fourth Thursday of every month from its base on Church Road.
Councillor Steve Nelson, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Access, Communities and Community Safety, said: “Chipping offers so many benefits to dog owners and can be absolutely vital if your dog is lost or stolen because it increases the prospects of being reunited with your pet as quickly as possible.
“It is a quick, painless process and the chip carries a unique number that the owner’s details are stored against in a central database. This means if your pet is lost and then found by us, we can scan it and contact you with the minimum of fuss. If it is stolen, the chip can provide proof of ownership.
“We do a lot of work to encourage responsible pet ownership and are happy to be doing our bit by offering these free chipping sessions in partnership with the Dogs Trust. They are already proving very popular so we’d advise dog owners to make an appointment as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.”
Councillor Nelson added: “If your dog already has a chip we advise you to make sure the details are up to date as we come across a lot of cases where we pick up a chipped pet only to find the details stored on it are out of date, which means we are unable to trace the owner. We also remind all dog owners that it is a legal requirement to make sure their dogs have a collar and tag as well.”
To make an appointment to have your dog microchipped, call the Council’s Animal Welfare Team on 01642 526 557or email: [email protected]
The Dogs Trust also offers free microchipping sessions around the country – for further details visit www.chipmydog.org.uk