North Devon Council says 75 per cent of stray dogs last year weren’t microchipped as new laws come into play today (Wednesday).

Dog owners in North Devon are being reminded that their pets must legally be microchipped by today (Wednesday), with their contact details kept up to date.

The new law, Microchipping of Dogs Regulation, comes into force at a time when the number of stray dogs in the region is increasing.

Since April 2015 North Devon Council's dog warden service has dealt with 159 strays, compared to just 76 in the previous year. Out of the 159 dogs only 41 were microchipped.

Councillor Rodney Cann, NDC's executive member for environment, said: "Microchipping will make a real difference; if a dog should stray we can quickly contact the rightful owner, reuniting them with their pet without delay."

Owners who do not comply with the regulations may be served with a notice and a £500 fine if their dog is not chipped within 21 days.

For more details about where to get your dog chipped visit chipmydog.org.uk.