Council dog warden reminds owners of new rules

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jessesa springhallNew East Cambridgeshire District Council dog warden Jenessa Springhall is reminding dog owners of the changes to microchipping laws that come into force this month.

Now, owners of dogs found by the police or local authorities not to have a microchip will have the benefits explained to them and be given a short period to comply with the microchipping law. If they do not, they could face a fine of up to £500.

The new rules will not only protect the welfare of dogs and promote responsible ownership, but also make it easier to track down the owners of straying dogs.

Jenessa Springhall, who joined the Council last week, said: “If we pick up a loose dog and it has a microchip fitted we can have that pet back with their worried owner within a couple of hours. It saves the pet and the owner a lot of stress.

“It also saves the owner money as we have to charge them kennelling costs if we are looking after their dog. If the dog is not microchipped and it takes several days to track down the owner, they could face a significant bill.

“Most dog owners are extremely responsible and caring and can easily see the benefits of getting their dog chipped. It only costs around £10 to have a chip fitted by a vet and offers great peace of mind. It has also now been made law that dogs have the microchip fitted so anyone who doesn’t comply could face a fine.”

Last year the council dealt with nearly 100 stray dogs in the District. Many of these were successfully reunited with their owners even though some did not have microchips or had incorrect owner details. It is much easier and quicker for the Council to contact the rightful owner of a dog if it is microchipped and the details are held on a national database.

Karen See, Senior Environmental Health Officer said “We are a nation of dog lovers and the majority of dog owners are responsible and do whatever is required to make sure their pets stay safe. Microchipping dogs will not only help to reunite people with their lost or stolen pets, but also help to tackle the growing problem of irresponsible dog owners who may not be so caring. This will help to relieve the burden placed on animal charities and local authorities, who have to deal with many hundreds of unwanted and stray dogs every year.”

Jenessa Springhall’s role as Dog Warden includes collecting stray dogs and helping to trace owners, but she also deals with complaints about dog on dog aggression and noise nuisance. If a dog attacks a person it should be reported directly to the Police.

To get in touch with the Dog Warden about any concerns regarding stray or nuisance dogs please call East Cambridgeshire District council on 01353 665555.