Dog owners can get their pets microchipped for free at an event being held in the City of Wolverhampton.
RSPCA Stafford, Wolverhampton and District Branch are working in partnership with City of Wolverhampton Council’s Public Protection team to offer the service at West Park on Saturday, September 23, from 10am to 2pm.
A new law which came into force on April 6, 2016, requires all dogs over eight weeks old in England, Scotland and Wales to be microchipped.
The measures are aimed at cracking down on vicious or illegal dogs as well as helping protect animals that may become lost.
Dogs need to be microchipped and registered with their keepers’ contact details. All keepers, including breeders, will need to keep these details up to date.
The microchip is the size of a grain of rice and its information about the dog and the owner’s contact details will be officially held on an approved micro-chip database.
Councillor Steve Evans, City of Wolverhampton Council Cabinet Member for City Environment, said: “Microchipping is a great way to make sure that you and your pet can be reunited should the unthinkable ever happen, and your dog does go missing.
“Unlike dog tags and collars, which can fall off or be removed, microchipping is a permanent form of identification. By microchipping your companion, you can help to increase your chances of being rightfully reunited with your pet, should they ever be lost or even stolen from you.”
If a pet is already microchipped, it is important to remember to keep the dog’s details updated. If people move house or change phone number, they should contact their microchip database provider to let them know.
Not only it is a legal requirement to ensure that contact details are up-to-date, but the microchip is useless without them.
Jenny Stringer, Chair of RSPCA Stafford, Wolverhampton and District Branch Chair, said: “There are so many owners that aren’t aware that by law all dogs must be microchipped, so the local RSPCA Stafford Wolverhampton & District Branch have held a number of events to help microchip local animals.
“Thousands of animals are lost every year and many never reunited with their owners – having your dog microchipped reduces this happening. We are really pleased to be working in conjunction with the council to provide this free service at West Park. Microchipping can cost up to £25 so it’s a huge saving.”
If a dog without a microchip comes to the attention of the authorities, its keeper could be served with a notice requiring the dog to be microchipped, and may face criminal prosecution and a £500 fine if they do not comply with the notice.
The only exemption is where a vet has certified in writing that a dog is unfit to have the chip fitted.
More details about the law and how to update your details, are available by visiting www.dogstrust.org.uk/microchipping.