Isle of Wight has largest number of owners fined for unchipped dogs – but fines are lowest (Updated)

A third of the dog owners fined across the UK for not having their dogs chipped (now required by law) are on the Isle of Wight.

dog eyes

The Isle of Wight has been revealed as having the most number of dog owners fined for not having their dogs chipped since it became a legal requirement in April 2016.

In fact, a third of the total number of owners fined across the country were on the Island, data gathered (full table below) by Pets At Home shows.

Lowest fines
Those that were fined can count themselves lucky as the fines the Isle of Wight council have levied against them are the lowest in the county – £25/each.

The national average fine was £182.54 per dog owner, with the highest being in Hounslow, at £1,932.50.

Zero prosecutions
The Island is also the only local authority not to have prosecuted any owners. Coventry, who have the second highest number of fines in the UK at 19, also prosecuted 19 owners.

Ahead of the second anniversary of the compulsory microchipping law, Pets at Home submitted Freedom of Information requests to every city, county, district and borough council in the UK to see which areas were fining the most dog owners.

Microchipping is simple and cheap
Dr Maeve Moorcroft, head of pets at Pets at Home, said:

“The results of our Freedom of Information requests are somewhat surprising; and what we found most of note was how much the fines charged by councils varied across the country.

“Microchipping is a simple and cheap procedure that doesn’t hurt a dog in any way and it’s vital that responsible pet owners obey this law. We’d urge dog owners to take steps to get their canine microchipped, firstly for the health and safety of their four-legged friend, and secondly to comply with the law and avoid potentially hefty fines.”

The council’s view
OnTheWight got in touch with the Isle of Wight Council to get their side of this, a spokesperson said:

“The Isle of Wight Council does not, and is not legally able to issue fines for dogs that are not microchipped.

“It does, however, have a number of fees it can charge owners in relation to stray dogs which are picked up. These fees reflect the work undertaken in securing and dealing with stray dogs, and can include a charge of £25 if the owner, if identifiable, does not have their dog microchipped once it has been found not to have a microchip. Owners are issued with a ‘notice to microchip’ and referred to local vets to have this undertaken.

Only stray dog checked for Microchips
“Dogs that have not been microchipped are only recognised as such when they are picked up as a ‘stray secured dog’ by an officer of the Isle of Wight Council, who is able to check if they have a microchip.

“If the dog is initially found not to be microchipped, the ‘notice to microchip’ issued to the owner gives a period of 21 days for this to be undertaken.

“The published figures would seem to be those for the number of ‘stray secured dogs’ for which the council has charged the identified owner a fee of £25 for not having their dog microchipped within 21 days, having been issued with a ‘notice to microchip’.

IWC Stray dog fees
“The council’s charges to owners in relation to ‘stray secured dogs’ that are picked up are as follows:

Stray secured – £35.
Stray secured out of hours (weekends and before 9am and after 5pm) – £45.
Kennel fee – £35.
Repeat securing of the same stray within 12 months – £25.
Administration charge (raising an invoice) – £15.
Microchipping (for a recovered ‘stray secured dog’ that is not microchipped within 21 days) – £25.”

The full table

Council nameNumber of dog owners finedAverage amount each owner was finedNumber of dog owners who have been prosecuted
Isle of Wight Council34£250
Coventry City Council19£15919
Sheffield City Council12£14812
East Riding of Yorkshire Council7£3127
Hull City Council6£4476
Northumberland County Council6£2476
Blaby District Council3£2686
Plymouth City Council3£4165
Birmingham City Council2£1303
Hertsmere Borough Council2£1502
London Borough of Brent2£3122
Preston City Council2£3452
South Tyneside Metropolitan Borough Council2£902
Durham County Council1£5641
London Borough of Hounslow1£1,9321
Manchester City Council1£1801
(Data from Pets at Home FOI. Fines from April 2016. Rounded to nearest pound)

Updated with the response from the council received 12 April 2018.

Image: etersigni under CC BY 2.0

Wednesday, 11th April, 2018 4:09pm



Filed under: Island-wide, Isle of Wight Council, Isle of Wight News, Top story

Any views or opinions presented in the comments below are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.

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6 Comments on "Isle of Wight has largest number of owners fined for unchipped dogs – but fines are lowest (Updated)"

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The IoW Council should see this as a way of making some income: lowest fines and highest number of offenders !!!


Does this legal requirement include the chavs and their staffies and how many of those who were fined included the chavs for not having their dogs chipped,and who bothers checking on them anyway or is the law only for the chosen few.

Hmmm a very sweeping and labeled comment there gravdub4, I would have to say the older generation are worse for this than “chavs” On that label, Just because you’re young and have a hat, trackies or sports gear on and you own a Staffordshire terrier everyone thinks you’re some kind of criminal! Regarding the league table, zero prosecutions for the island? Really? Still, I used to see… Read more »
Mark L Francis
My terrier thinks that all Staffies, Pit Bulls, Pitbull “Cross”, Bull Mastiffs & other-what we tend to call “asbo dogs” need chipping by him personally. That’s why we keep him 0n a lead. Evidently owners of “dangerous breeds” are less responsible ,(obviously a self selecting demographic) &, being usually about 3 x his size end up attacking him, until he beats them up. A study in Ohio… Read more »
There’s some small mindedness going on here and I personally take exception. I’m not a ‘chav’ and my Staffie was chipped at 8 weeks and is now 9 yrs old. Furthermore, she is always on a lead and gets subjected to aggression by other dogs and I have to restrain her from retaliating in self defense…. Let’s get one thing straight. There are responsible dog owners and… Read more »
Mark L Francis
Ti be fair, when our dog dies, I would consider getting a Staffie as a rescue dog, since the vast majority of healthy dogs put down are Staffies abandoned by owners who are evidently not responsible – or else they wouldn’t abandon them. As for small-mindedness – yes, I think my dog is small-minded; partly due to being, like, a dog & partly through experiences of being… Read more »