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Dog owner fined for failing to update microchip

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A County Durham woman has been left more than £600 out of pocket after failing to update the microchip details for her dog.

On 1 August 2017, Durham County Council received a report relating to a dog straying in the Tanmeads area of Nettlesworth.

A neighbourhood warden attended the area and on investigation found that the dog was microchipped to 31-year- old Natalie Stephenson and registered to an address in Tennyson Road, Pelton Fell.

However, when Stephenson collected the dog from Coxhoe Kennels, a different address was provided and she was served with a 21-day notice requiring her to ensure the microchip details were updated and provided to the council.

Following council tax checks, it then emerged that the new address given by Stephenson was also out of date and that she was now living at Findon Avenue in Sacriston.

As a result, she was given another 21 days to update the microchip.

On 10 October, the neighbourhood warden checked to see if the details had been changed and found they had not been updated – and this remained the case following a further check on 28 November.

At Newton Aycliffe Magistrates Court, Stephenson was ordered to pay a fine of £440, costs of £150 and a victim surcharge of £44.

Since April 2016 it has been a legal requirement for all dogs over eight weeks old to be microchipped and this case shows we will take action against those who break the law.

Keeping your pet’s microchip up to date is vital so it can be returned to you if it is lost, strays or is stolen and without them dogs can spend a long time in kennels as they wait for owners to collect them.

– Oliver Sherratt, Durham County Council’s head of direct services