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Housing Association Offers Free Dog Micro-Chipping Service

A HOUSING association is offering its residents the opportunity to get their dogs micro-chipped for free – as part of a dog charity’s campaign to reduce the number of stray animals found on the streets.

And staff at Durham Aged Mineworkers’ Homes Association (DAMHA) are receiving specialist training to allow them to carry out the micro-chipping themselves.

DAMHA has joined forces with the Dogs Trust to offer this new service, which will be available to over 2,000 residents currently living in the 1,700 properties owned by the association across the North East.

Micro-chipping normally costs around £20-£40 when carried out by a vet, but the Dogs Trust is providing this service free of charge to DAMHA

The charity will be training DAMHA staff to carry out the virtually painless procedure, which involves inserting a microchip the size of a grain of rice between the dog’s shoulder blades, just behind the scruff of its neck. It takes just a few seconds to insert and there are no after effects.

The microchip contains a unique code used to identify a dog in the event it is lost or stolen.

Pauline York, DAMHA’s Head of Housing, said: “We promote responsible dog ownership to all our residents and we hope as many residents as possible will take advantage of this very important free service when it is introduced.”

DAMHA resident Eva Daglish, whose Chihuahua dog Pepe has been chipped, said: “I think it is a great idea as it gives you peace of mind if your dog goes missing that there will be a good chance it will be returned to you.”

Michelle Moat, Dogs Trust Campaign Coordinator for the North of England, said: “Last year over 107,000 stray dogs were handled by local authorities in the UK and almost a third successfully reunited with their owners were returned because they had been micro-chipped.

“We are campaigning for micro-chipping to become compulsory but in the meantime it is excellent to see organisations like DAMHA being so proactive in this area.”

DAMHA will be staging a series of micro-chipping days for its residents throughout 2011. The first event will take place at its Bulmer House sheltered housing scheme in Marsden Road, South Shields, on 10th May, from 10.30am to 1pm; and at its Rutherford House sheltered housing scheme in Seaside Lane, Easington on 11th May, from 10.30am to 1pm.