Chelmsford resident prosecuted for unregistered dog

A dog owner has been successfully prosecuted by Chelmsford City Council for failing to register her dog's microchip details on a government-approved database.

Victoria Andrews, of Rookes Crescent, Chelmsford, was prosecuted at Chelmsford Magistrates Court on 24 October. She did not attend court and the matter was proved in her absence, resulting in a £293 fine, plus costs of £273.53 and a victim surcharge of £30.

A Staffordshire bull terrier cross was picked up as a stray dog in Chelmsford on 15 May. The dog was not wearing an identity tag and was not chipped, and the Council was unable to contact the owner. Victoria Andrews claimed the dog as hers a few hours later. A microchipping notice was served on Ms Andrews, giving her 28 days to have her dog implanted with a chip: however, she failed to comply with this, despite reminders.

Between April 2018 and April 2019, Chelmsford City Council picked up 83 stray dogs.

Paul Brookes, Public Health and Protection Manager at the Council, said, "Dog microchipping helps to reunite owners with lost or stolen pets. It is in the interests of the dog's welfare as it prevents them from being left on the streets or in kennels because owners can't be traced. Not only should you ensure your dog is fitted with a chip when you buy him or her, but it is vital that you keep your details up to date if you move or change telephone numbers."

By law, dogs in England must be microchipped by a trained professional before they are eight weeks old. You can ask your vet to do this. Alternatively, the City Council also microchips dogs free of charge at the Civic Centre in Duke Street, Chelmsford or, for a £10 fee, in your own home. To book an appointment, contact the Dog Wardens at www.chelmsford.gov.uk or call 01245 606606.

Once the chip is fitted, the dog's details must be registered on a government-approved database. This must be updated if circumstances change. A list of approved database can be found at http://www.gov.uk/get-your-dog-microchipped.

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