23 November 2016
A DOG owner has been ordered to pay out more than £630 after failing to get her pet microchipped.
When it came to the council’s attention that her dog was not chipped, Sarah Hewitt, 38, of Winn Grove in Sheffield, was asked to get the animal microchipped.
She was served a legal notice by Sheffield City Council’s Environmental Protection Service but, on a follow-up visit by the Dog Control Officer, the dog was found to still not be microchipped.
Ms Hewitt was advised of the council’s free microchipping service but she did not take up the offer. Further visits were made to encourage Ms Hewitt to microchip the dog, but she failed to do so, and was abusive to the officer.
At Sheffield Magistrates Court on Tuesday 22 November, Ms Hewitt was fined £220 and ordered to pay court costs of £381.78 as well as a surcharge of £30 – making a total of £631.78.
Councillor Bryan Lodge, Sheffield City Council’s Cabinet Member for the Environment, said: “We are pleased with this result.
“Microchipped dogs are much more likely to be returned to their owners if they go missing. While dogs still have to wear a collar and tag, these can fall off or become illegible, whereas microchips are a far more reliable means of identification.
“It is a pity that this dog owner chose not to microchip her pet, despite the efforts of our staff, and has instead had to pay the price in court.”
Pet owners should be aware that dogs must still wear a collar and tag with the owner’s details on it, as well as being microchipped.
Microchips enable ready identification of a dog and its owner, but the keeper’s details recorded must be up to date. Owners who move house, or even change their mobile telephone number, should remember to ensure the microchip is updated.
Correctly updated microchips are a deterrent to dog theft and might help vets contact an owner in an emergency.
- National legislation introduced in April 2016 requires all dogs to be microchipped, aside from those with a vet’s certificate saying the animal should be exempt for health reasons.
- Currently, if a dog is not microchipped and is brought to the attention of the council, the owner may be served with a notice requiring the dog to be microchipped within 21 days. Failure to microchip the dog is a criminal offence.
- A dog is not considered to be microchipped if the details of the keeper are inaccurate.
- It is also an offence to transfer a dog to a new keeper without it being microchipped.
- The maximum fine for failing to microchip a dog when required to do so is £500
- The council currently microchips dogs for free, working in partnership with the Dogs Trust. Appointments can be made by ringing 07817 497 995.