Hackney Council and Dogs Trust taking the lead

Microchips are no larger than a grain of rice, and are inserted into the skin of a dog through a sterile needle

Dog owners in the borough will be happy to hear that the UK’s largest dog charity – Dogs Trust have got together with Hackney Council to offer FREE micro chipping to Hackney residents worth £25, to help reduce the amount of lost and stray dogs in the borough.

Microchips are no larger than a grain of rice, and are inserted into the skin of a dog through a sterile needle. Each microchip contains a unique number, which can be read through a scanner. When a dog is micro-chipped, this number, along with the name and address of the owner, is uploaded onto a database, which can be used by the Council’s Animal Warden Service, to find the owner and get the dog safely home.

Hackney Council has a legal responsibility to pick up stray dogs in the borough and provide kenneling for up to seven days. The Council hopes the micro-chipping clinics will help reunite more owners with their dogs, and thereby reduce the pressure stray dogs put on local services.

The first event takes place on 12 November, from 12 – 4pm at Clissold Park, N16, where Dogs Trust staff will also be on hand to offer low cost and free neutering vouchers, free basic dog training and general advice on dog ownership. Two other events will be held this year: on 27 November, from 11am – 4pm at Butterfield Green, N16 and 4 December, from 11am – 4pm at Well Street Common, E9. Further events are scheduled to take place in 2011.

Councillor Sophie Linden, Cabinet Member for Crime, Sustainability and Customer Services, says: “The Council is embarking on this micro chipping programme in order to encourage responsible dog ownership, and to reduce the number of stray dogs picked up in the borough. Of the 145 stray dogs picked up since April this year, only 21 were chipped. Losing a pet can cause distress to both the owner and to the animal, but stray animals also place pressure on local services, and can be dangerous if left to roam.”

Elvira Meucci-Lyons, Head of Community and Campaigns at Dogs Trust, adds: “Micro chipping is a quick and easy way to greatly increase the chances of getting a lost dog safely back home – last year almost 35,000 dogs were reunited with their owners thanks to being micro chipped. It is the most effective way to permanently identify your dog and an important part of being a responsible dog owner. We are very happy to be working in partnership with the Council on this project, and look forward to meeting dogs and their owners at the events.”

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