A dog owner from Manchester has been fined for ignoring warnings to microchip her dog – the first prosecution of its kind in the city.
Margaret Ward, 26, of Metfield Walk, Charlestown, was ordered to pay a total of £614 at a hearing at Manchester Magistrates’ Court.
It is a legal requirement for all owners to microchip their dogs and ensure the details stored on the chip are up-to-date. The information contained in a dog’s microchip helps authorities reunite lost or stray pets with their owners.
In November 2016 Ms Ward’s French Bulldog was found wandering without its owner and was collected by the council’s Animal Welfare Team. Any dog that is unsupervised in a public place may be taken by the council.
Officers were unable to detect a microchip in the dog and the animal was taken to Manchester Dog’s Home, which takes in and cares for more than 7,000 dogs every year.
Ward attended Manchester Dog’s Home, two days after the animal was picked up, where she identified the dog as hers and took it home.
In January 2017 the council wrote to Ward requesting that she microchip her dog within 21 days and provide evidence that she had.
Microchipping is available at most vets and is quick and painless for the animal. The council work with the Dog’s Trust to offer free microchipping at selected events.
Ward failed to respond to January’s letter or to a reminder letter sent in February, and also failed to attend a scheduled interview under caution to discuss the matter.
In September 2017 Ward failed to attend a hearing at Manchester Magistrates’ Court and in her absence was found guilty of failing to comply with a Notice under the Microchipping of Dogs (England) 2015 regulations.
She was fined £120 and ordered to pay costs of £464 with a £30 victim of crime surcharge.
Councillor Nigel Murphy, Manchester City Council’s Executive Member for Neighbourhoods, said: “Our Animal Welfare Team work to keep unsupervised animals off the street as stray animals can pose a danger to themselves and to people.
“When a dog goes missing it can be distressing for both them and their owner. Having your pet microchipped is quick and painless for them and increases the chances of you being reunited if they go missing. That's why, as this case should remind other owners, the law requires owners to do it."
To find out how to microchip your dog, or to report a stray dog visit: www.manchester.gov.uk/environment