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Owners of dogs without microchips face £500 fine

Have you had your dog microchipped?

Thousands of dog owners across the region are at risk of breaking the law - and being handed a fine of up to five hundred pounds - unless they get their pets microchipped over the next week.

New legislation comes into force on the 6th of April requiring all dogs to be chipped - although it is estimated that one in six owners still haven't yet complied. Matt Price reports.

The interviewees are: Derek Hall, an animal welfare officer and Helen Wilkes who works at a dog rescue centre.

The Government has issued guidance on microchipping dogs and who you can go to to get it done.

Dog days at Sussex Police

Credit: Sussex Police

Harper, just 11 weeks old, has started work at Sussex Police. In about 12 months' time she'll become a key asset to officers across both Sussex and Surrey.

The sable German shepherd has been introduced as a general purpose dog, designed to track, chase and detain suspects, search for stolen property and missing people, and assist public order units with crowd control.

Harper was among a litter of four puppies, all of which will go through the same process as her in a bid to become general purpose police dogs.

Harper is still very young and she's certainly keeping her foster family on their toes. But all going to plan, she will be issued to a handler in December, before going on a full training course in January.

– Emma Coles, Sussex Police

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Video: Kent fire crews bring in new oxygen masks for pets

Now, if you had a fire in your home, what would be the first thing you saved? Well, apart from your family, the most likely second choice would be a pet. Some of us would even risk out own lives to rescue them. But the prospect of recovery afterwards is often slim. So now, Kent Fire & Rescue Service have started using new oxygen masks for pets to improve their chances. Andrea Thomas explains. She spoke to Lynn Carberry from the not for profit organisation Smokey Paws and Dave Nolan from Kent Fire & Rescue Service.

'Wonderful outcome' stolen dog Zulu reunited with owner thanks to microchip

Zulu reunited with her owner one year after she was stolen Credit: Winchester City Council

A man who thought his puppy had been lost forever has been reunited with her a year after she was stolen from his home in Devon.

Zulu, a female brindle lurcher was just 15 weeks old when thieves broke down a fence and stole her from her owner Danny Allan's garden.

She was found at Swanmore College in Hampshire on October 13th 2015 and taken to a vet who called Winchester City Council's Animal Welfare Service that same day.

“Zulu was microchipped, but was registered to a Devon address. I left a message on the telephone number given to say that we had found the dog.

Some people pass dogs on and forget to update the microchip database so, as it was so far away, I wasn’t optimistic that we would locate the owner. “

– Dave Griffiths, Senior Animal Welfare Officer

However, Danny Allan, who now lives in Wiltshire called the next day and collected her. Senior Animal Welfare Officer Dave Griffiths said the reunion was a wonderful outcome, and showed the value of microchipping pets as a deterrent to thieves.

From April 2016 all dogs will need to microchipped by law. Details on the microchip database also need to be updated.

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Britain's top dog comes face to face with his LEGO model!

A Sprocker Spaniel was officially declared the UK’s best pet when he came nose to nose with his perfect LEGO double at Legoland in Windsor.

One-year-old Sully was voted the nation’s top dog for helping a family deal with a life-changing tragedy and was nominated by eight-year-old Ella Harvey.

Sully was joined by his owners, The Harvey family, who credit their dog with bringing them closer together after dad, Gavin, lost both legs on a tour of duty in Afghanistan.

The canine topped a nationwide search to find the country’s best pet friend and Ella was overjoyed to see her puppy pal honoured with his very own LEGO model.

Sully has helped the family to overcome dark times.

Ella's mum, Kerry, said: "There's so much physically that we can't do as a family since Gavin was inured. But Sully helps us to bridge that activity gap."

The playful spaniel took a keen interest in his LEGO double, which took a model maker 11 days to create from 6,255 individual bricks.

Two Akita dogs stolen from house

These two Akita dogs have been stolen from a house in Sevenoaks Credit: Kent Police

Kent Police is appealing for information after two Akita dogs were reported stolen from a house in Horton Kirby, Sevenoaks.

The incident occurred between 7.30pm and 9.30pm on Saturday 1 August 2015.

It was reported that the owner of the dogs locked them away in a room at her house in Carleton Place before going out for a couple of hours. When she returned the door to the room had been opened and the dogs had gone.

Anyone with information is asked to call the appeal line on 01622 604100 quoting reference YY/15239/15 or email west.division.media.appeals@kent.pnn.police.uk. Alternatively call Kent Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Dog owners urged to 'take the lead' near railways

A train driver from Farnborough has described the moment he almost hit a dog-walker at a level crossing in Surrey.

Five people have died and there have been more than 180 near-misses involving dog walkers in the last five years, according to new figures.

Network Rail and Dogs Trust have teamed up and released a new safety campaign video designed to shock, as Emma Wilkinson reports:

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