Two thousand dogs chipped
Published: Wednesday 5th October 11
More than 2000 dogs have been micro-chipped and registered since tough new housing tenancy conditions were introduced in January 2009.
Wandsworth has led the way in clamping down on problems caused by anti-social tenants using so-called 'status dogs' to harass their neighbours. It is a condition of tenancy that housing estate residents must get their dogs chipped and registered on a borough-wide database.
The rules have been welcomed by the vast majority of Wandsworth residents and leaseholders. Since they were introduced 1160 dogs have been micro-chipped and a further 954 dogs that were already been chipped have been registered.
This makes it easier to trace the owners of stray dogs, and less likely that owners will dump status dogs once they fall out of fashion.
The scheme was the first of its kind and has the backing of the RSPCA and Battersea Dogs Home.
The council does not target one breed over another, but the majority of the animals chipped have been Staffordshire bull terriers (719). Other popular breeds include jack russells (169) and Yorkshire terriers (103).
The council also served six eviction notices over the past year because of dog-related anti-social behaviour. Four of these residents have since rehomed their dogs and two have chipped and registered their pet. A further 58 residents had their animal chipped and registered after receiving warning letters.
The microchipping scheme was introduced by Wandsworth's housing department, with the support of the council's Dog Control Unit, which also patrols the borough picking up strays, enforcing by-laws and educating the public on responsible dog ownership.
Over the past year the unit has issued 132 notices to people who broke the council's strict by-laws relating to the behaviour of dogs in parks, housing estates and other public land.
Mark Callis, head of the award-winning unit, said:
"We do not set out to persecute dog owners or target specific breeds of dogs. Instead we enforce clear rules to ensure that bad owners that brutalise dogs and use them as weapons cannot get away with irresponsible, anti-social behaviour.
"The owning of status dogs by people ill-equipped to properly control animals, and the problem of status dogs being dumped when people get bored of them, continues to be a problem across London, but in Wandsworth we're confident we're doing all we can to stay on top of it.
"We will continue to enforce by-laws and tenancy agreements to help ensure our residents are not terrorised by out-of-control and frightening dogs."
Find out more about micro-chipping and the work of the dog control unit at www.wandsworth.gov.uk/dogs, or call (020) 8871 7606.