Free chips for all

by The Gateshead Housing Company & filed under Gateshead Council, Help in your home - pets, News, On your estate.

Dog’s Trust, The Gateshead Housing Company and Gateshead Council are offering free microchipping and health checks for dogs across Gateshead this August.

From April 2016 all owners will be required by law to have their pet microchipped to enable dogs to be traced and to deter thefts.

Dogs trust logoFive events for local residents and their pooches are being held from 11am to 3pm at:

Neil Bouch, Director of Customers and Communities at The Gateshead Housing Company, said: “I would encourage dog owners who haven’t already got their pet microchipped to come along to any of the free events across Gateshead.

“Getting your dog microchipped will give you peace of mind that should your dog go missing it is far more likely to be returned.”

Councillor John McElroy, Cabinet member for Environment and Transport, says: “Gateshead Council picks up a huge number of stray dogs every year and it’s a constant frustration that we can’t return them to their owners because they have no identification.

“We have no choice but to take them to kennels instead which means the owners then have to pay substantial kennel fees to get their dogs back.

“Microchipping your dog is a brilliant way of saving on all of that expense and hassle, and it will help ensure that if your dog accidently gets out and is collected our the dog warden, it can be returned to you quickly.”

Dogs Trust CEO, Adrian Burder said: “Microchipping is a huge part of being a responsible dog owner.

“We’re grateful to have the support of The Gateshead Housing Company and Gateshead Council to be able to offer this service to more dog owners.

“A microchip can offer greater security should your dog stray, providing your contact details are kept up to date.”

All dogs must be wearing a collar and lead and have a handler present who is over 18. Proof of address will also be required.

Dog’s Trust is the UK’s largest dog welfare charity and cares for 17,000 dogs each year across its network of 20 rehoming centres in the UK and one in Dublin.

Photograph above: Richard Finlow, Housing Manager for The Housing Company sets an example by having his pet “Cooper” chipped and checked over by Sophie Cloney, Veterinary Surgeon with the Dogs Trust at a previous microchipping session.

What are the benefits of microchipping?

  • All puppies are traceable to their breeder thereby helping reduce the problem of puppy farming and lessening the incidence of infectious disease and inherited defects from which many of these dogs suffer
  • Deterrent to dog theft
  • Allows for rapid return, meaning that local authorities are able to emphasise to the dog owners concerned that straying is not acceptable, the intention being that this education will lessen the likelihood of a dog straying again and reinforce the responsibilities of the owners under the Animal Welfare Act  2006
  • Easier identification and subsequent arrests of owners culpable of animal Cruelty
  • Enables veterinary surgeons to contact dog owners for emergency procedures
  • Allows identification of dogs in properties in emergency situations so that dogs and owners can be moved and reunited more quickly.

The legal obligations:

From 6 April 2016 all dogs will be required to have a microchip giving owners three years to get their dogs microchipped for free from the Dogs Trust.

After 6 April 2016, owners of dogs found by the police or local authorities not to have a microchip will have the benefits explained to them and be given a short period to comply with the microchipping law.

If they do not, they will face a fine of up to £500.