Pet owners in Sefton are being reminded to make sure their dogs are microchipped as the law changes later in the year.
From April, 2016 all dogs in England in Wales will need to be microchipped.
Having your pet microchipped is one of the best ways to increase your pet’s chances of getting home should they go missing.
Unlike dog tags and collars, which can fall off or be removed, microchipping is a more permanent form of identifying your dog. But don’t forget the law says all dogs must wear a collar and tag, with their owners name, address and telephone number on it.
Through chipping, a tiny microchip about the size of a grain of rice is inserted under a dog’s loose skin, on the back of the neck. This gives the dog their own unique code.
If a dog becomes lost or stolen and is picked up by a dog warden or turns up at a shelter or vet’s office, the microchip can be scanned and matched to the owners' contact details, which are kept on a database once registered.
Cllr Paulette Lappin, Cabinet Member Regulatory, Compliance and Corporate Services, is encouraging all dog owners across the borough to get their pets chipped.
She said: "From April 2016 the law is changing so that all dogs in England and Wales must be chipped.
"Chipping is a simple and harmless way of ensuring that the details of a dog owner are kept on record.
"Many dogs still go missing every year across Sefton but by micro-chipping them, when they are found, they can easily be re-united with their owners.
"Please remember that if your phone number, address, e-mail address change, you must update your dog’s microchip information – it is the only way it can be used to reunite you with your best friend."
The Dog's Trust are hosting a number of free chipping events for dogs and for more information, visit http://www.chipmydog.org.uk/
If a stray is found in the borough that is not chipped, Sefton Council can serve notice on the dog owner requiring them to have it done within 21 days. Residents who fail to comply may be subject to formal action being taken.