From April 6th all dog owners must ensure their pets are microchipped, as legislation is put into place which could result in a £500 fine and a criminal conviction.
Named ‘Microchipping March’, this month is about raising awareness of the new law, aiming to minimise the amount of stray dogs and help pets find their way back home.
Statistics show approximately 1.8 million dogs still do not have a microchip in the UK, meaning they can’t be traced back to their owner if they are found alone.
The new legislation is also designed to prevent illegal breeding of dogs and reduce pressure on animals welfare centres who take in dogs which can’t be reunited with their owner.
Amy Wilson, Charity Manager at Support Adoption For Pets, says: ‘Pet owners shouldn’t worry about microchipping their pet. It is a very simple and easy procedure which is almost painless for any animal.
‘A microchip is no bigger than a grain of rice and is injected under the skin at the scruff of the animal’s neck. Each microchip has a 15-digit code which is unique to the pet and can be read through a special scanner.
‘We cannot express the importance of getting your dog microchipped. It is to the owners advantage and gives peace of mind that your family dog can be returned home.
‘It is also vital that all owners keep their contact details up-to-date on a microchip database. We advise all dog owners looking to get their dog microchipped to check out their local vets and pet shops as many are running reduced cost or even free microchipping.’
Support Adoption For Pets has designed a new grant scheme for 2016 designed to support the new legislation. The Helping Paws Award will see £4,000 given to 20 rehoming organisations to buy scanners and microchips.
To find out more information the new grant scheme or microchipping in general, visit: www.supportadoptionforpets.co.uk.
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