More than 100,000 dogs are dumped or lost each year.

The vast majority of these are put to sleep when rescue centres are full to capacity.

spirit - downEvery dog owner in England will have to microchip their animal from 6 April 2016 under plans intended to cut a rise in strays. The microchips will be coded with owners’ details, and owners who do not comply could face fines of up to £500. Any owner whose dog is found without a chip and can be traced by local authorities will have a short period of time to have the dog micro-chipped. The up-side is that if your dog becomes lost, the scanner will reveal your dog’s chip details and you can be reunited quickly with your dog.

Laws governing dog attacks will also be extended to cover private property, closing a loophole which has meant that dog owners whose animals have attacked people on private property are immune from prosecution.

Currently some animal charities, such as the Dogs Trust, Blue Cross and Battersea Dogs and Cats home, offer a free micro-chipping service to owners.

The procedure, which costs about £20-£30 at a private veterinary clinic, involves inserting a sterile chip the size of a grain of rice between a dog’s shoulder blades.

Please ensure that your details are updated if you move house or change your telephone number.

…  Anne