Friday, January 27, 2017
Irresponsible dog owner handed £600 legal bill for failing to microchip his dog
West Lancashire Borough Council has successfully taken legal action against a pet owner who refused to have his dog microchipped in the first case of its kind taken by the authority.
New legislation came into force on 6 April 2016 which made it compulsory for dogs in England to be microchipped and for owners’ details to be kept up to date on the chip. Owners who fail to comply with the regulations can be fined up to £500.
On 17 January 2017, Wigan Magistrates Court heard how Mr Brett Clarkson’s dog, Tyson had been collected by the Council’s contractor while out straying in the Skelmersdale area in the summer of 2016. The cross-breed type dog was not microchipped when it was picked up.
When Mr Clarkson, of Elswick, Skelmersdale, collected his pet from the Council's contractor on 20 August 2016 he refused an offer to have Tyson microchipped for a small charge. The Council served a notice on Mr Clarkson giving him 21 days to get Tyson microchipped and provide proof to the Council this had been done. Mr Clarkson did not comply with this notice leading to the Council taking legal action against him.
Mr Clarkson did not attend court and was found guilty in his absence. He was fined £220, and ordered to pay a £30 victim surcharge and £364.10 in costs. In total Mr Clarkson's failure to microchip his dog has cost him £614.10 which must be paid within 28 days.
Microchipping is a failsafe way to ensure if your pet is lost it can be re-united with you. Many vets and pet shops provide this at a small charge. The Council has teamed up with the Dogs Trust to offer free microchipping for dogs at Greenhill Community Hub, Beech Close, Skelmersdale, on Tuesday 7 March 2017, between 11am and 3pm. This will be on a first come, first served basis and the last dog will be chipped at 3pm. These events are very popular so there may be long queues.
Councillor Kevin Wright, portfolio holder for Health and Community Safety said "This prosecution by the Council shows its commitment to promoting responsible dog ownership and welfare within the Borough. I would encourage anyone who hasn’t had their dog microchipped to take advantage of the free microchipping event on 7 March.
“Dog owners should also note it is a legal requirement for dogs in England to wear an identity disc at all times when in a public place."
Further information on responsible dog ownership can be found by visiting dogs.