There has been an increase , but ‘unacceptable’ numbers of dogs still don’t have microchips, despite a change in the law

The number of dogs without microchips in North Devon is still ‘unacceptable’ despite a change in the law three months ago.

Since April 6, it is a legal requirement to have your dog implanted with a chip storing your up-to-date contact information.

North Devon Council’s dog warden service has picked up 58 stray dogs – a mix of genuine strays and lost dogs – since the change in the law.

Of those, 73 per cent were microchipped, whereas in the three months before April 6, only 53 per cent of the dogs picked up had chips.

Although there has been an improvement, environment councillor Rodney Cann feels it does not go far enough: “Although we have seen a slight increase in the number of lost or stray dogs we pick up being chipped, it’s unacceptable that some dog-owners have still not chipped their dogs,” he said.

“It is relatively cheap to get your dog microchipped, in fact the Dogs Trust will do it for free, so there is no excuse for failing to do so.

“Responsible dog-owners who have already chipped their dogs must also remember to update their details as and when they move house, so that our dog wardens can reunite them with their pets if they are lost or stray.”

In the last three months, the council has also served 15 enforcement notices on dog- owners for unchipped pets, but no fines were issued as all the owners addressed the problem.

People have 21 days to comply with a notice and if not, they could be liable for fines up to £500.

If people move house, they must also update their dog’s chip details, which can be done via www.petlog.org.uk

If you encounter a stray dog, call the dog warden on 01271 388870, or to report a lost pet. It is also worth checking with local vets if your dog is lost.

Click here to return to our homepage for more North Devon news.