Dog Chipping Scheme Expanded

the new initiative will now be free to residents of all 33,000 council-managed homes.

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The council had already planned to chip tenants’ dogs for free, but has now decided to offer the service to all residents of council-owned blocks and estates, including leaseholders and their sub-tenants. This will increase the scheme’s effectiveness.

Under the radical new proposals, the first large-scale scheme if its kind in the country, all Wandworth council tenants who want to keep a dog will be required to have it micro-chipped.

Subject to consultation, the tough new regulations will apply to all tenants from early next year, although no enforcement action will be taken against existing tenants for a few months to give them time to get their animal chipped.

There are an estimated 4,000 dogs living on the borough's estates. Recording ownership details on a database will help the council to deal quickly with strays and take action against tenants who allow their dogs to cause a nuisance.

Dog wardens pick up any stray dog they find and check to see if it has been chipped. If it has, the dog is returned to its owner.

Wandsworth has long been encouraging dog owners to micro-chip their animals, and runs regular micro-chipping sessions. The council has been at the forefront of dog control measures, and has the largest local authority dog control service in the country.

The new dog-chipping scheme has the full support of the RSPCA. It believes the scheme will be an important test case for finding out if micro-chipping can be used successfully in the fight against anti-social behaviour. 

Council leader Edward Lister said:

"Many responsible dog owners already have their animals chipped and will welcome the new service which will be free to tenants and leaseholders.  There's bound to be a hardcore who try to avoid the scheme but we are confident of being able to track them down. It's essential if the scheme is to achieve its main purpose of tackling anti-social behaviour on estates."

People with concerns about the way a dog is being treated can report these in confidence to the council's 24 hour help line on (020) 8871 7532.

To find out more about micro-chipping and the work done by the council’s dog control service go to

August 6, 2008