Dog owners living in Stafford Borough can get their pets micro-chipped for free in a new initiative to help reunite stray animals with their owners.
Stafford Borough Council is offering special vouchers to the first 200 people which will entitle them to have their dogs chipped for nothing.
By April 2016 all dogs must be micro chipped by law – and the council is hoping to encourage local people to be quick off the mark. People can get the voucher to be used at the vets in Stafford and Stone between 18 May and 31 July.
To receive a voucher call 01785 619000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Reuniting stray dogs with their owners more quickly could save the council a chunk of the annual £15,000 kennel cost bill.
An existing law requires all dogs to have a collar and tag identifying their owner in case they become a stray, but last year saw over 280 strays reported in the borough and only a quarter of these had a collar and tag.
Once the law comes into effect next April, owners who haven’t had their dogs microchipped will be served a notice by the council requiring them to get it done. And they could face a £500 court fine for not doing so.
The vouchers can be redeemed at The Island Veterinary Associates at both their Stafford and Stone clinics. People just need to complete the details on the back of the voucher and take some form of identification to prove they live in Stafford Borough.
Figures from charity The Dogs Trust show that of over 100,000 strays reported nationally each year, only six percent of those returned to their owners were micro-chipped.
Cabinet Member for Environment and Health, Councillor Frank Finlay, said:
“We want to encourage dog owners throughout the borough to take advantage of this initiative by micro-chipping and ensuring all dogs wear a collar and tag, making the reuniting process much easier and less stressful for both owner and animal.”
For more information on dog warden services in the borough visit www.staffordbc.gov.uk/dog-warden-service
The Island Veterinary can be contacted on 01785 258411 for the Stafford clinic and 01785 818186 for the Stone clinic.