Animal welfare

Our duties include to seize stray dogs, inspect and licence animal establishments and promote responsible pet ownership within the borough.

Tagging and microchipping

We collect over 250 stray dogs each year. Many have no form of identification which would allow us to trace the rightful owner.

Collar and ID tag

You are required by law to put an identification tag and collar on your dog when in a public place. This should have your address and phone number on it.

Failure to tag your dog could result in prosecution. Thousands of pets go missing every year and are not returned to their owners because they have no form of identification. Wearing an identification tag not only enables someone to return your dog easily but also prevents unnecessary stays overnight in kennels. These can be traumatic for many pets and costly to the owner.


Lost and stray dogs cost the taxpayer and welfare charities £33 million per year. A microchip:

  • makes it much easier to reunite a dog with its owner
  • reduces the burden on animal charities and local authorities
  • helps protect the welfare of dogs through responsible dog ownership.

In England, dogs over eight weeks' old must be microchipped and registered with their keeper's contact details. All keepers, including breeders, must keep these details up to date. The only exemption from the requirement is where a vet has certified in writing that a dog is unfit to be microchipped.

The microchip, which is the size of a grain of rice and completely harmless, is inserted between your dog's shoulder blades. The chip contains a unique registration number.

If a dog without a microchip comes to the attention of the authorities, its keeper may be served with a notice requiring the dog to be microchipped. The keeper may face criminal prosecution and a £500 fine if they do not comply with the notice.

For details about microchipping, including getting it done free of charge, dog registration databases and updating your details after registration, see GOV.UK:

Get your dog microchipped (GOV.UK)

If you don't have your pet's microchip number, you can also:

  • contact your vet or implanter, who may have your chip number on record
  • email We will visit your property and scan your pet to reveal the microchip number.

If you breed dogs

Anyone breeding dogs is responsible for microchipping their puppies before they sell or give them to new keepers. All imported dogs need to have a microchip. Breeders are required to register their own details and these are recorded against the microchip for the life of the dog.