Hackney Council takes the lead

Hackney Council is working with Dogs Trust – the largest dog welfare charity in the UK - to offer residents free dog microchipping worth around £25, in a bid to reduce the number of lost and stray dogs picked up in the borough.

Microchips are no larger than a grain of rice, and are inserted into the skin of a dog through a sterile needle. Each microchip contains a unique number, which can be read through a scanner. When a dog is microchipped, this number, along with the name and address of the owner, is uploaded onto a database, which can be used by the Council’s Animal Warden Service, to find the owner and get the dog safely home.

With a responsibility by law for picking up stray dogs in the borough, and kenneling them for up to 7 days, the Council hopes the microchipping clinics will help reunite more owners with their dogs, and thereby reduce the pressure stray dogs put on local services.

The first event takes place on 12 November, from 2 – 7pm at Clissold Park, N16, where Dogs Trust staff will also be on hand to offer low cost and free neutering vouchers, free basic dog training and general advice on dog ownership. Two other events will be held this year: on 27 November, from 11am – 4pm at Butterfield Green, N16 and 4 December, from 11am - 4pm at Well Street Common, E9. More will take place in 2011.

Councillor Sophie Linden, Cabinet Member for Crime, Sustainability and Customer Services, says: “The Council is embarking on this microchipping programme in order to encourage responsible dog ownership, and to reduce the number of stray dogs picked up in the borough. Of the 145 stray dogs picked up since April this year, only 21 were chipped. Losing a pet can cause distress to both the owner and to the animal, but stray animals also place pressure on local services, and can be dangerous if left to roam.”

Elvira Meucci-Lyons, Head of Community and Campaigns at Dogs Trust, adds: "Microchipping is a quick and easy way to greatly increase the chances of getting a lost dog safely back home - last year almost 35,000 dogs were reunited with their owners thanks to being microchipped. It is the most effective way to permanently identify your dog and an important part of being a responsible dog owner. We are very happy to be working in partnership with the Council on this project, and look forward to meeting dogs and their owners at the events.”

Microchipping is just one of a number of ways in which the Council will be promoting responsible dog ownership this year. For more information on the microchipping events please contact Hackney Council on 020 8356 4981. For more information on Dogs Trust or microchipping visit or call 020 7833 7346.