Dog owners have a responsibility under the law to prevent their dogs from straying and causing injury or damage.
Microchipping is a permanent method to help ensure your dog's safe return if it is unfortunate enough to become lost. However, you are still required to ensure that your dog is identifiable by means of a collar and tag with your name and contact number.
With the introduction of the Microchipping of Dogs (England) Regulations 2014, from 6 April 2016 all dogs must be chipped and registered to an approved database by the time they are eight weeks old.
What is microchipping?
The microchip is the size of a grain of rice and is encased in a bio-compatible glass, the same used in human pacemakers, to prevent rejection from the animal's body. In dogs, the microchip is inserted into the loose skin on the back of the dog's neck using a specially designed implanting device. Insertion is a quick and easy process that causes no more discomfort than a usual vaccination. The microchip will last for the animal's lifetime.
How does the microchip work?
Each microchip carries a unique number that is logged on to a national database. Against this number key information is stored about the dog and its owner, including the dog's name and the owner's name and address this information is securely held and can only be accessed by vets or dog wardens when a scanner is passed over the microchip.
Found and stray dogs
We scan all dogs we find straying. Where possible dogs that are microchipped are reunited with their owners, if they can be contacted at the time the dog warden calls to collect a dog (a fee of £20 is payable to Stafford Borough Council). In all other cases stray dogs will be taken to Swanpit Kennels, Gnosall and we will use the microchip details to contact the owner and advise them that we are holding the dog.
Before collection by owners or rehoming we will routinely microchip all dogs to assist in tracing the owner in the future.
Microchipping must be carried out by a trained vet or another trained person eg dog charity. The average cost is £20, however, promotional events may be held with community groups.
For a limited time Stafford Borough Council is offering free microchipping to residents of the Borough.
After April 2016 if a dog is not microchipped or ownership details registered on an approved database then it will be considered as not complying with the regulations and a notice may be served on the keeper of the dog requiring the dog to be microchipped within 21 days.
If the keeper of a dog does not then have their dog microchipped or keep the database up to date they will be liable to pay a fine of £500.
Initially we will only be targeting owners of dogs that have been allowed to stray and owners of nuisance dogs.