5,000 dogs now microchipped in Wandsworth
8:30am Friday 1st February 2013 in News
An average of five dogs per week have been microchipped in the borough since 2009, according to figures from London Council.
More than 5,000 dogs are now officially recorded as living in Wandsworth following a drive to encourage responsible dog ownership.
The majority of the dogs have been microchipped because Wandsworth Council's tenancy conditions, the first of their kind to be introduced by a local authority, require housing estate residents to get their dogs chipped and registered.
The problem of 'dangerous dogs' arose in 2007 when there were a number of vicious attacks on either owners, members of the public or other dogs.
The number of animals seized by the police, under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, increased from 173 in 2006/07 to 480 by April 2008 - more than 80 per cent of these involved pit-bull type breeds.
Microchipping allows police and local authorities to trace owners if their dogs have been involved in an attack but also enable animal charities like the RSPCA and Battersea Dogs Home to easily contact the owners of lost or abandoned pets.
Wandsworth's community safety spokesman, Councillor Jonathan Cook, said: "The council's compulsory microchipping for housing estate tenants and leaseholders' dogs has led to a dramatic decline in the number of complaints about dog attacks as owners know they can be easily traced if they cause problems.
"Compulsory microchipping for all dogs would certainly be a step in the right direction - as it would also mean that strays and lost dogs could be returned to their owners without any delay and without incurring expensive kennelling costs for local authorities and charities."
Since 2009, 22 illegal breeds have been seized, resulting in the successful prosecution of all the dogs' owners.
To report a dog-related issue in confidence, call the council's Dog Control Service on 020 8871 7606. For more information visit www.wandsworth.gov.uk/dogs.