Dog owners in Doncaster face a fine of up to £500 for failing to microchip their pets under new laws which came into force today.
But responsible pet owners are backing the changes to the law, which will help enable dogs to be reunited with their owners if they are lost or stolen.
As of today, owners are now 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.
Doncaster’s RSPCA rescue centre in Bawtry has seen a rush of owners bringing their dogs to be chipped in time to meet the deadline.
Receptionist Michelle Williams said: “It has been a lot busier than normal, because it is becoming the law for dogs to be microchipped.
”In terms of the dogs we get we’ve done at least 60 private microchips in the last four days.”
She added: “We support microchipping. It means that if your animal is lost a vet or RSPCA inspector will be able to can it and find its proper owner.
“If people stick to the law it should make our lives easier.
“But a lot of dogs get microchipped and then the owners details are not kept up to date. People need to make sure that those details are correct.”
The charity is microchipping dogs for a reduced price of £8 until April 12.
The new laws have seen the creation of a National Canine Database, which lists every dog in the UK, making every pet owner responsible for the registration of their pooch. It is hoped this will reduce the number of dogs being dumped as well as the lucrative black market trade in animals. But despite efforts to publicise the new measures, it is estimated that more than 1 million of the UK’s 9 million dogs have still not been microchipped.