Dog owners in Sheffield face a fine of up to £500 for failing to microchip their pets under new laws coming into force tomorrow.
But responsible owners walking their pets in a Sheffield park are backing the changes to the law, which will help enable dogs to be reunited with their owners if they are lost or stolen.
From tomorrow, owners will be breaking the law and could face criminal charges if they have not had their dog microchipped by the age of eight weeks or failed to register the chip with their current address.
Dog walkers in Endcliffe Park, Sheffield, agreed anybody who takes on a dog should understand the responsibility that comes with it.
Sarah Heywood, aged 42, who lives in Ranmoor and is self-employed, said: “I think anyone that owns a dog and loves a dog would want their dog finding anyway so the fine wouldn’t worry me.
“I can’t see why you wouldn’t want to chip your dog because if it runs off and gets lost you hope someone finds it, can read the chip, and get it back to you.”
John Forester, 28, a dog walker and trainer at Diamond In The Woof, Heeley, welcomed the changes and believes the legislation is a great idea.
“There are so many dogs that go stray and just get let loose and if you have some kind of responsibility for your dog then microchipping is the way of putting the dog to the owner,” he said.
Keren Bourne, walking her dog Poppy, said: “I think it’s an excellent idea and I think all dogs should be microchipped because it is part of being a responsible dog owner.
“It links the dog to the owner and therefore you can’t just adopt pets and abandon them, which tackles a big issue we are facing.
“I think it will encourage people to insure their dogs in case they cause an accident or damage to other people.
“And if you lose your dog, which is the biggest danger, the dog can be returned to you.”
Dog owner Emma Kelly, 19, a full-time student, out walking Tia, said. “I thought it already was the law to microchip your dog and I think it is important that everyone does.
“We had Tia microchipped as soon as we got her.
“I’m not saying that all people that don’t microchip their dog are bad owners, but bad owners tend not to microchip their dog.”
The microchip is roughly the size of a grain of rice, fits under the dog’s skin and contains information about its owner, making it easier for both to be reunited should they become separated.
n Take dogs to the vet to be microchipped – prices vary but is usually around £15. PDSA Sheffield and participating Pets at Home stores are offering to microchip dogs for £10. Sheffield Animal Centre also offers a microchipping service.