Craigavon Borough Council’s Licensing and Dog Warden Service is urging all dog owners or anyone who is thinking of getting a dog to make sure that they obtain the proper licence.
It is compulsory for all dog owners to have a current dog licence for their dog, otherwise they could face a fixed penalty fine of £75 or face court proceedings.
In the past six months, 26 local dog owners have been prosecuted for owning an unlicensed dog.
“A licence will cost a dog owner £12.50 or a reduced fee of £5 – however, if an owner is caught without one, they will receive a fine, or should it go to court, they could face a substantial fine of up to £200 plus legal and court costs”, said the chairman of the Environmental Services Committee, Alderman Arnold Hatch.
“Several dog owners have recently been taken to court and faced fines and costs for not licensing their dog or failing to pay the fixed penalty fine.
“I would urge all owners or anyone thinking of purchasing a dog to make sure they have a valid licence to avoid these high penalties,”
Before purchasing your dog licence, you must first have your dog microchipped.
The microchip is a small electronic chip, around the size of a grain of rice which is implanted painlessly under the dog’s skin and contains a unique number which can be read by a scanner.
You must ensure that the name, address and telephone number of the dog’s owner are registered with the microchip company along with details of the dog.
Owners should obtain confirmation from the microchip company that their details are registered.
Microchipping is an essential part of dog control and assists the Council Dog Warden to swiftly and safely reunite stray or stolen dogs with their owners, reducing stress for both parties. You can get your dog microchipped at your local vets or pet store.
Once microchipped, you can then purchase your licence for £12.50 per dog, with a reduced fee of £5 for owners who are currently on income related benefits or those who own a dog which has been sterilised.
Owners over the age of 65 will be entitled to a free licence for their first dog and a fee of £5 for each dog thereafter.
If you already have a dog, reminders will be issued before a licence is due to expire.
Failure to purchase a licence will result in a fixed penalty fine or possible court proceedings.
Owners are also reminded that if they sell or pass their pet on to a new home, they are required by legislation to notify the Council and the new owner must also obtain a licence for the dog before taking ownership.
Dog Licences can be purchased at the Civic Centre, (by cash, cheque, postal order, or credit/debit card) and even online at www.craigavon.gov.uk