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.
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.
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.”
|Council name||Number of dog owners fined||Average amount each owner was fined||Number of dog owners who have been prosecuted|
|Isle of Wight Council||34||£25||0|
|Coventry City Council||19||£159||19|
|Sheffield City Council||12||£148||12|
|East Riding of Yorkshire Council||7||£312||7|
|Hull City Council||6||£447||6|
|Northumberland County Council||6||£247||6|
|Blaby District Council||3||£268||6|
|Plymouth City Council||3||£416||5|
|Birmingham City Council||2||£130||3|
|Hertsmere Borough Council||2||£150||2|
|London Borough of Brent||2||£312||2|
|Preston City Council||2||£345||2|
|South Tyneside Metropolitan Borough Council||2||£90||2|
|Durham County Council||1||£564||1|
|London Borough of Hounslow||1||£1,932||1|
|Manchester City Council||1||£180||1|
Updated with the response from the council received 12 April 2018.