A County Durham dog-chipping campaign is proving a success following the introduction of legislation requiring all dogs to be microchipped from April 2016.
Durham County Council, working in partnership with the Dogs Trust and Stray Aid charities, launched #BeLikeChip in March which is supported by the Crufts 2016 ‘Best in Show’ winner Marie Burns and her West Highland White Terrier, Devon.
The campaign raises awareness of the new law which requires all dogs, 8 weeks old and over, to be microchipped and offers pet owners the chance to get their dogs chipped for free.
So far, 1,162 dogs have been microchipped and 109 microchips have been scanned to check the chip details were up to date as part of the campaign.
Where microchip details are out of date, owners are advised how to update their details as this is a requirement of the new legislation.
Not only is the campaign helping dog owners to be responsible, but it’s also reducing the possibility of strays.
Ian Hoult, Durham County Council’s neighbourhood protection manager said: “The statistics shows how successful this campaign is and how it has helped dog owners not fall foul of the new legislation.
“People should take advantage of the free micro-chipping events as the microchip holds vital information if their dog was lost or stolen. It also helps us tackle illegal dog breeders and bring justice to their victims.”
Michelle Moat, a campaigns officer for the Dogs Trust said: “Losing a dog is an extremely upsetting time for both dog and owner so events like these are really vital in helping to spread the message about the importance of microchipping.
“Microchipping is the most effective permanent way to assist in a lost dog being returned to their owner which in turn reduces the number of healthy dogs unnecessarily put to sleep.
“To ensure lost dogs have the best possible chance of being swiftly reunited with their owner, it is hugely important that owners ensure their dog always wears a collar and a tag displaying their contact details, and that they keep their microchip database details up to date.”
Visit www.durham.gov.uk/microchipping for more information and for a list of free microchipping events, running until December in County Durham.
Stray Aid in Coxhoe is also offering free microchipping to dog owners seven days a week between 2.00pm and 3.00pm, excluding bank holidays. For more information or to make an appointment, contact 0300 999 4247.
All microchipping events are subject to terms and conditions. Also puppies aged between 8 weeks and 6 months old must be vaccinated.
As well as getting their dogs microchipped, dog owners can sign up to Durham County Council’s Green Dog Walkers scheme at micro-chipping events or by downloading a form at www.durham.gov.uk/greendogwalkers, emailing email@example.com or by calling 03000 261 000.
The scheme encourages pet owners to always pick up after their pet and carry extra poop bags.