Dog owners reminded of microchip law after some are taken to court and fined

Published: Friday 19th October 18

Dog owners are being reminded that they must have their four-legged-friends microchipped if they want to avoid falling foul of a law that came into effect in 2016.

The reminder to owners comes after a number were taken to court and prosecuted for failing to comply with the new law.

The Government introduced The Microchipping of Dogs (England) Regulations to help reduce the number of strays and lost dogs that local authorities are required to care for and to also help identify dogs and their owners if they’re involved in an attack. A microchip can also help reunite stolen dogs with their owners.

A lost or stolen microchipped dig can be more easily reunited with its owner

The national regulations are based largely on tenancy conditions introduced by Wandsworth Council in January 2009 which apply to all tenants who own dogs and who live on a council housing estate.
Failure to comply with the law can render owners liable to fines of up to £500.

The council’s animal welfare service regularly comes across lost or stray dogs and if they have been microchipped, they can be easily re-united with their owners.

If officers come across a dog that has either not been chipped or if the details on the microchip database are out of date or incorrect, owners are given verbal advice on the merits of the scheme, followed up by a letter giving them 28 days to comply with the legislation. If they do not, they are sent a legal notice requiring them to act within a further 28 days. If they do not, legal action follows.  

In most cases the owner complies straight away, but some do not. The following people were fined recently by Lavender Hill magistrates for failing to do so.

  • Maria Hearn of Compton House, Parkham Street, Battersea, who was fined and ordered to pay court costs totalling £470 for not microchipping her Whippet.
  • Angela Kelly of Winchfield House, Highcliffe Drive, Roehampton, who owns a male Chihuahua, was fined £470 including court costs.
  • Joanna Lawson of Deeside Road in Tooting was ordered to pay £470 for failing to chip her dog ‘Blaze’.
  • Louise Lennon of Garfield Road, Battersea didn’t have her dog ‘Sykes’ chipped and was made to pay £470.
  • Kim Ohwoviowho of McManus House, York Road, Battersea, was fined and made to pay court costs amounting to £470 for not microchipping her French Bulldog.
  • Claire Smith of Halston Close in Battersea was ordered to pay £630 for failing to have her two dogs ‘Carla’ and ‘Lucky’ chipped
  • And Jonathan Stuckey of Cline House in Roehampton’s Toland Square was also made to pay £630 for not having his two Staffordshire Bull Terriers microchipped.

Across the country more than 102,000 dogs are lost or stolen each year. The costs of looking after these dogs if they cannot be reunited with their owners falls on local councils and animal charities.

When introducing the new law in 2016, animal welfare minister  George Eustice estimated that town halls in  England and Wales would save £33m a year if lost or stolen dogs could be more quickly reunited with their owners.

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Recent comments

Is it really necessary to name and shame people for these transgressions? They have been through the Courts and been fined already. Is it the role of the Council to embarrass people further? Unless these animals were involved in attacks, there is no public interest in knowing their names.
Lesley Morton

19 October 2018