Dog owners reminded to chip dogs or face fine

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Dog owners in Ribble Valley are reminded that they must microchip their pets or face a £500 fine.

Owners of the borough’s four-legged friends are now required by law to microchip their pets and register them on a database, and if the dog is transferred to a new keeper the new keeper must update the database.

Over 100,000 dogs stray or are lost or stolen in the UK each year, resulting in £57 million in kenneling costs to local authorities and welfare charities.

Around 60 dogs are lost and 25 stolen in Ribble Valley each year, which have to be returned or re-homed.

Simon Hore, chairman of Ribble Valley Borough Council’s health and housing committee, said: “Microchipping is a simple, safe and quick procedure that makes reuniting dogs with their owners more likely.

“A microchip is the size of a grain of rice and the procedure, which is carried out by a vet or trained microchip implanter, takes only a few minutes and lasts a lifetime.

“Although many dog owners already microchip their pets, our dog enforcement officers are now equipped with microchip scanners to ensure residents are complying with the new law.

“We are also asking dog owners to ensure their pets are tagged, so that we can contact them without delay if their dog is found.”

Ribble Valley Borough Council has also stepped up its perennial campaign against dog owners who allow their pets to poop in public.

Council staff and the police will be involved in impromptu “pick up or pay” poop swoops over the coming months, with offenders receiving £80 on-the-spot fines or a ticking off.

And parents are asked to ensure their youngsters are carrying poop bags when they walk the family pet.

Mr Hore added: “Complaints about dog issues are the second highest received by the council each year and residents are demanding action on the issue.

“Our officers will be out and about with the police over the coming months making sure the message is understood loud and clear by any pet owner flouting the law.”

Ribble Valley Borough Council receives over 200 complaints about dog fouling and spends £30,000 disposing of it each year.

To report dog fouling in complete confidence, contact Ribble Valley Borough Council on 01200 425111.