From 6 April 2016 it became law for all dog owners to ensure that their dog is microchipped and that their details are kept up to date.

This was to ensure that the UK’s 8.5 million dogs can be returned to their owners quickly if lost and in some circumstances it can also help to makes it easier to track down owners of dogs that carry out attacks on people.

Owners found to have failed to ensure their dog is microchipped will have the benefits explained to them by the police or local authority. They will then be given a short period to comply with the microchipping law. If they do not, they could face a fine of up to £500.

Microchip your dog

Of late, two men in Plymouth have been taken to Court for failing to microchip their dogs correctly.

Plymouth Magistrates tried their cases due to their failure to comply with Notices to get their dogs microchipped within 21 days after their pets were handed over to the Council’s Environmental Officers.

Stuart Hayes from Plymouth, received a £660 fine – the total payable in costs amounting to £926. His Staffordshire Bull Terrier had been found roaming around Derrys Cross on 12 September last year – more than a mile from his home. The dog was taken in by Environment Health, who were able to find a microchip – but the records showed that the pet was pending transfer from an address in Swindon.

Hayes, who failed to attend Court, had not updated his address details on the microchip website within the 21 days he had to do so. As the six-year-old dog was not wearing a collar or tag when found, Hayes was also charged for that offence under the Control of Dogs order 1992 and the Animal Health Act 1981.

Additionally, David Bartlett from Plymouth, had two charges brought against him after his dog escaped their home and ran out into a road without a name tag attached to its collar. The dog was handed in to a charity shop and the Council impounded it.

The male Jack Russell Terrier was scanned for a chip, but its details were not up to date. As the details had since been updated, the microchipping charge was dropped against Bartlett, however, he pleaded guilty to the second charge of his dog being in a public place without identification and was ordered to pay a total of £395.

We can help

Therefore, it is quite clear that there is no room for complacency. Although it is easy to assume that no-one would ever find out whether your dog has been microchipped, the reality is that it would only take your dog getting into a fight, or escaping from your garden, for you to find that you are being prosecuted for breach of the law. As the above cases quite clearly show, the police are taking breaches of the new law seriously.

For all initial enquiries relating to Canine Law please contact Emma McGrath on or by telephone on 01775 662662.

All initial appointments are charged at £75 +VAT. If you instruct us to take on your case, the initial £75 +VAT will be off-set against our future costs.

Contact one of our offices in Boston, Spalding, Sleaford, Lincoln, Grantham and Newark to speak to a member of the team.


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