209Hambleton dog owners have the chance to get their pet microchipped for free later this month.

From 6 April, all dogs aged eight weeks old and over must be micro chipped and their keeper’s details must be up to date or owners may face a fine.

Micro chipping is recognized as the most effective and secure way of permanently identifying a pet to ensure its safe return. It is a quick and easy process which causes no more discomfort than a usual vaccination.

Hambleton District Council is joining forces with the Dogs Trust to provide the free session which will also include a basic health check on Tuesday 26 July at Mole Country Stores on Station Road, Stokesley as part of work to make sure all dogs are microchipped.

It takes place from 11am until 3pm and no appointment is needed.

The new microchipping legislation is primarily enforced by local authorities.

Failure to get your dog chipped could result in a fine of up to £500.