From April 6, all dogs must be microchipped by law.
The change is aimed at making it far easier for lost or stolen dogs to be reunited with their owners.
Wardens frequently come across lost or stray dogs that aren’t chipped, such as Buddy, a Jack Russell terrier who was so hungry and malnourished he ate a quantity of plastic bags and other debris.
Buddy was found straying in the Witterings area, and Chichester District Council dog wardens took him to RSPCA Mount Noddy at Eartham, where he was cared for until he recovered.
Buddy was one of the lucky ones having been rehomed last year - though ahead of the change of law, which comes into force on April 6, the council is urging everyone to ensure their furry friends are microchipped.
“Our Dog Wardens deal with numerous cases of lost and straying dogs each year and microchipping will really help many more people be reunited with their best friends,” said cllr Roger Barrow, cabinet member for environment at Chichester District Council.
“Lots of people have already had their dogs microchipped but we just want to remind those people who have not yet done so that the change in law is just around the corner.
“As a district of dog lovers, I would urge all owners to ensure the details are kept up-to-date so we can see more happy endings if dogs go astray.”
The new rules apply to any dog aged over eight weeks and breeders will be responsible for microchipping puppies before they are sold.
In addition, owners are also expected to ensure that their dogs are wearing an identity tag with the owner’s address details when in public places.
And as well as having their pet microchipped, it will also be compulsory for the microchip details to be kept up-to-date with the dog owner’s current details, for example where the dog normally lives.
Thankfully, last year the number of stray dogs seized by the council’s Wardens halved compared to 2014, although around 30 per cent of the strays seized remain unclaimed.
The council’s dog wardens carry scanners so they can check to see if a dog has a microchip. They make every effort to rehome any unclaimed strays and last year placed more than 31 dogs with rescue societies.
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