Missing pet pooches have a better chance of being reunited with their owners now that they’re carrying identification.

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Last year almost 1,000 dogs were microchipped by Uttlesford District Council’s animal warden, Sue Knight, thanks to the Dogs Trust and with assistance from Mercer and Hughes vets.

She had pledged to chip as many dogs as possible in 2013 and has vowed to continue that quest over the next 12 months and beyond.

Throughout the year, Mrs Knight organised several chipping days and visited residents by appointment. Dogs were implanted free of charge with the vital data that will help reunite them with their owners if they get lost.

Although, by law, when in a public place dogs must wear a collar and ID tag showing their owner’s name and address, microchipping a pooch provides a more permanent way of identifying it should it stray.

The Government has also announced that all dogs will have to be microchipped by April 2016.

Microchipping also helps reduce the number of stray dogs entering rescue centres or being put to sleep through no fault of their own.

Mrs Knight said: “Uttlesford District Council is committed to helping dog owners and microchipping is a quick and painless procedure that greatly increases the chances of pet and owner being re-united.

“I am very grateful to the Dogs Trust for providing these microchips and to Mercer and Hughes Vets who helped me in reaching this fantastic target.”

She added: “The chipping will continue this year, in order to encourage dog owners to microchip their dogs ahead of the change in the law when it becomes compulsory in April 2016. From that date, dog owners who refuse or fail to have their pets microchipped face a fine of up to £500.

“If your dog is already microchipped, you must remember to get its ownership details changed on the national database if you move house.

“Keeping the database up to date with your current address and contact details is of paramount importance as returning a dog to its rightful owner can only be done if the details are correct.

“The same goes for people who buy dogs from owners who have already had them microchipped – they must ensure their details are placed on the database.”

For further information on dog microchipping contact Mrs Knight on 01799 510594 or e-mail her at sknight@uttlesford.gov.uk

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