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Dog owners urged to get their pets microchipped

All dog owners are being urged to ensure their pets are microchipped with their correct contact details before new regulations come into force this spring.

Dog for microchip

From April 1 it will be compulsory for dogs to be microchipped and for the microchips to be registered with up-to-date owner details. Owners failing to comply face a possible fine of £500.

Fenland District Council's stray dog service, run by Ravenswood Animal Rescue, collects about 140 strays a year.

A recent survey by the Dogs Trust showed that only 20 per cent of strays collected are microchipped and that microchips often have out-of-date owner contact details.

Councillor Peter Murphy, the council's Cabinet member responsible for the environment, said: "Quite apart from the possible legal penalties, it makes sense to get your dog microchipped. It will help ensure that it is quickly returned to you if it strays or gets lost.

"If an owner can't be identified or contacted, or the dog has strayed more than once, it will be taken to Tejaycey's kennels, where it will be cared for until it is claimed for up to seven days. After that, the dog will be considered for rehoming."

Ravenswood Animal Rescue have been successful in rehoming 98 per cent of unclaimed dogs. They will ensure that dogs are fit and healthy and that new homes are good matches for them.

Microchipping is available from vets and some pet shops and charities. It usually costs about £15. More advice can be found online on the Dogs Trust's website, www.dogstrust.org.uk

Article added January 22, 2016