MORE than 1,700 dogs have been microchipped as part of a campaign to make sure owners are complying with the law.

As of last April, all dogs have to be microchipped by the time they are eight weeks old.

Ahead of the legislation, Durham County Council launched a #BeLikeChip campaign, which has seen more than 1,700 dogs microchipped for free.

The chips allow details of the animals’ owners to be registered on a database, making it easier for people to be reunited with their pets.

Cllr Brian Stephens, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for neighbourhoods and local partnerships, said: “The importance of responsible dog ownership cannot be underestimated.

“Getting dogs microchipped enables pets which go missing to be reunited with their owner.

“This means fewer strays, which incur considerable costs for us as the responsible authority.”

Pet owners who do not get their animals microchipped can be fined £500.

Free microchipping is still available from Stray Aid subject to terms and conditions.

Appointments should be made at least a day in advance on 0300 999 4247.

Vets also carry out microchipping but may charge.

To find out more about microchipping, visit or phone

03000 261 000.