Dog owners in Daventry district are being reminded of the importance of making sure the information on their pet’s microchip is kept up-to-date.
Daventry District Council’s dog warden service is issuing the advice after seeing a number of cases recently where a lost dog’s microchip contained information for their owner’s old address, making it difficult to reunite them.
The microchip implant is a small electronic chip, about the size of a grain of rice, which is painlessly implanted under a dog's skin and contains a unique number that can be read by a scanner.
The dog owner's contact details are logged on a central database, so should a dog be found after going missing or being stolen it can be scanned and quickly returned to its owner.
Since April 2016 dog owners have been required by law to make sure their dog is microchipped, with those failing to do so facing fines of up to £500.
As well as helping reunite owners with lost or stolen pets, microchipping has other benefits, including helping to prevent theft, enabling vets and the council to contact dog owners directly if a stray is found and tackling the issue of stray dogs by promoting responsible dog ownership.
Councillor Richard Auger, the district council's environmental health and housing portfolio holder, said: "Microchipping is the most effective tool for our officers to reunite dog owners with their lost pets.
"However, it’s only useful if the information on the chip is kept up-to-date and it is the owner’s responsibility to ensure this is done.
"If you move house, you must contact the database company that your dog is registered with and update your details."
People are also being urged to ensure they properly report any stray dogs they find so they can be reunited with their owners.
Those who have lost or found a dog can contact the district council by phoning 01327 871 100. Residents who find a dog outside office hours or on a weekend can phone the Rugby-based Dunsmore Kennels on 02476 542 566.
Anyone who finds a dog during the evening or when the kennels are closed is advised to keep the dog overnight if they can, before contacting the kennels or the council when they reopen.
However, the council advises people not to put themselves at risk of being bitten or attacked by the dog if they are prepared to secure a dog overnight.
For more information, visit the council's website at www.daventrydc.gov.uk/dogs