Dog owners across Cheshire West and Chester face an approaching new year deadline to have their animals microchipped.

From April 2016 it will be a legal requirement for all dogs in England to be registered.

After April 5, all dogs must be microchipped and registered to an approved database by the time they are eight weeks old.

For every dog that is currently not microchipped, people have until April 6 to take action

If the keeper of a dog which is not microchipped is served with a notice requiring them to have the dog chipped, they will have 21 days to do this.

There are no exemptions on age grounds.

Dog welfare

The new legislation will be introduced six months after the borough council scored top marks when it comes to dog welfare for the fourth year running.

The council gained an RSPCA gold award for going above and beyond basic requirements in the way it manages the collection and handling of stray dogs.

Cabinet communities chief Cllr Mark Henesy (Lab, Strawberry) said at the time: “I am delighted that the council has once again been rewarded for high standards of animal welfare.”

Dog ownership campaign

He said the council’s good dog ownership campaign had raised awareness of how to be a responsible dog owner. Not letting a dog stray was a key message in the campaign.

“Dog owners can really help our regulatory services team by ensuring that their pets are kept safe, are tagged and micro-chipped and by picking up after them,” added Cllr Henesy.

“By getting your dog tagged and micro-chipped it means you can be reunited as quickly as possible if they go astray.”

Stray dogs can be reported by phoning 0300 123 7038 from 8am to 7pm, Monday to Friday and 0300 123 7035 anytime outside these hours.