Dog owners are being warned they must comply with laws regarding their pet pooches.
West Lancashire Borough Council is reminding people who own dogs they can face an unlimited fine if their dog does not have an identity disc in public. If they have more than one dog in public without identity discs they can face separate fines for each dog.
It is also a legal requirement for dogs to be microchipped and the owner’s details kept up to date. Anyone failing to meet these requirements can be served with a 21-day notice giving them the opportunity to get their dogs chipped. Failure to comply can result in prosecution and a fine of up to £500 per dog.
Dogs with microchips that are not up to date will be deemed as not microchipped. Owners who have been served with notices must comply with the notice within the timescale, and inform the Council they have done so, or they could still be taken to court.
The Council has issued this reminder after a woman was fined £660 at Wigan Magistrates Court for failing to have identity discs on her two dogs and register their microchips. She was also ordered to pay £382.87 and a victim surcharge of £66.
During the case Council officers told the Court hearing on 20 June 2017 that two dogs were found straying in Skelmersdale. Both dogs were found to be microchipped but no details were registered on the database, and neither dog was wearing an identity disc.
The dogs were taken to the Council’s stray dogs contractor and the owner claimed them from there. She was then served with a 21-day notice by the Council requiring her to register both dogs microchips and to inform the council she had done this.
The woman failed to comply with the notice, but staff learnt through searching the database on 16 June 2017 that the microchips were registered, and informed the court of this. The owner did not attend the hearing and was prosecuted in her absence as she had failed to comply with the original notice within the allotted time.
Councillor Kevin Wright, portfolio holder for Community Safety, said: “This case shows dog owners they must comply with legislation regarding their pets or they could be prosecuted and face a heavy fine.”
Find out more about the Council’s responsibilities regarding dogs.