Dog owners in Boston are being urged to get their pets microchipped ahead of new legislation being introduced in England on April 6.
Boston Borough Council’s dog warden picked up 112 stray dogs last year alone – and is reminding residents of the impending law.
The Microchipping of Dogs Regulations 2015 will require all dog owners to get their pet microchipped, so that specific information about the animal and its owner can be stored on a national database.
Dog breeders who are a dog’s first keeper will have to have a puppy microchipped by the time it is eight weeks old.
All owners must have their dogs microchipped by April 6. There are penalties for not microchipping and not keeping the database details up to date.
Authorised officers from Boston Borough Council and the police will have the powers to issue legal notices to owners whose dog is not microchipped.
A notice may be served requiring the dog’s keeper to microchip the dog within 21 days of the served notice.
A fine of up to £500 can be issued or an enforcing authority can seize the dog and microchip it at the owner’s expense.
The regulations also prevent a dog from being transferred to a new keeper until it has been microchipped and any new owner of a dog has to update the information on the database on the transfer of keeper/ownership.
A spokesman for the council said: “Microchipping means that stray dogs which are picked up are more likely to be reunited with their owners quickly.
“In 2015, the council collected 112 stray dogs and 65 of those were returned to their owner. Of those returned, only 35 were microchipped.”
Dog owners are advised to contact their vet to arrange for their pet to be microchipped well in advance of April 6.