THE Fermanagh and Omagh District Council is reminding people that dogs are for life, not just for Christmas.
Many families across the county received a pet for Christmas and Barry McElduff, chairman of the local Council, is urging dog owners to be more responsible when it comes to their pooches.
“I would like to remind dog owners of the absolute need to licence your dog,” he says, “licensing your dog crucially helps the Council’s Enforcement Officers to reunite stray or lost dogs with their owners.
“It also helps the Council to monitor the number of dogs living within the District, as well as highlighting trends in popular breeds, identifying potential illegal breeders, and tracking down owners of dogs involved in attacks.”
The Dog Order Act of 1983 requires all dog owners to possess a valid dog licence and renew it on an annual basis in the North.
It is an offence to keep a dog without having a valid dog licence and a fixed penalty of £75 may result for failure to do so. It is also a legal requirement to microchip your dog and it must be microchipped before a dog licence can be obtained.
The Fermanagh and Omagh District Council chairman feels that this is becoming a big issue in Fermanagh.
“Unfortunately, there are many dogs picked up by dog wardens that are not licenced and microchipped,” explains Mr McElduff, “therefore, there are no details to enable them to be reunited with their owner. As a result, the dogs are sent to rehoming centres.”
It can be a ‘woof’ life for dogs, with many canines living in below-standard quality, and some being sold on or trafficked illegally.
If you can’t care for your mutt responsibly, the Council chairman urges people to consider rehousing their pet.
“I had the opportunity recently to visit the Dog Pound in Enniskillen to see some of the dogs which will be transferred to one of the Animal Centres,” he said.
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