Every dog to be microchipped from April 2016

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A dog rescue charity in Algarkirk is backing new rules introducing compulsory microchipping for pet dogs.

From April 2016 owners will be legally obliged to microchip their dog or face a fine of up to £500.

Jerry Green Dog Rescue believes the move is needed to promote responsible dog ownership.

In 2010-11, South Holland District Council’s dog warden service picked up 137 strays and Government figures show that more than 100,000 dogs are dumped or lost each year, costing the taxpayer and charities £57m annually.

Around 6,000 dogs have to be put down every year in the UK, though Jerry Green Dog Rescue looks after lost and abandoned dogs until they are rehomed.

Jo Hickson, manager of the rescue centre at Algarkirk, said: “All of our dogs are microchipped before they leave us and it has already proved to work.

“We’ve had several cases where we have been able to reunite dogs with their owners. One had been in a litter of puppies and had been stolen.

“The new law means we are not going to have the problem of dogs being dumped and no-one being accountable.”

The ownership of dog licenses was abolished in the United Kingdom in 1988. It was mandatory to have one as a dog owner up until this time and cost only 371⁄2p. But it was phased out because it was widely ignored and regarded as ineffective.

A spokesman for SHDC said: “We welcome any moves to improve responsible dog ownership and we look forward to receiving further details to see where this initiative can help us keep kennelling costs down, by reuniting stray dogs with their owners at the earliest possible time.”