Dramatic plan for all Islington dogs to be microchipped

DOG owners could be forced to have their pets “licensed” in the latest fight in the battle against dangerous canines.

Islington Council is seriously considering forcing every dog owner in the borough to pay for their pets to be microchipped. Council bosses would then be able to track down the owner of every dog living in Islington.

Police and the RSPCA claim that puppy breeding of status dogs is rife on Islington’s council estates – and they have repeatedly called on the council to get tough on residents who keep out-of-control status dogs such as Staffordshire and pit bull terriers.

In recent months, there have been a spate of dog attacks in the borough.

In October, a dog-walking thug set a pair of crazed boxers on to two students aged 20 and 21 after a row in Wyclif Street, Finsbury. One student ended up with his nipple being ripped off while the other was covered in bite wounds.

And in June, tailor Munever Ibrahim was left lying in a pool of blood outside her shop in Fonthill Road, Finsbury Park, after trying to intervene when an out-of-control bull mastiff mauled her Yorkshire terrier Chippie. Six-year-old Chippie died and Ms Ibrahim needed emergency surgery to save her right index finger.

Councillor Catherine West, the leader of Labour-controlled Islington Council, said: “We are looking at making all Islington residents microchip their dogs so when people don’t have their dogs microchipped, we don’t that they are at risk of having a dangerous dog. Our anecdotal evidence shows that dog owners like this idea. If they lose their dog, they are more likely to find it. And dogs who attack other dogs or children can be found.

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“People would pay for their dogs to be microchipped but that it would be at a subsidised rate. The council would hold all the information. It would be like licensing for dogs.”

Ms Ibrahim welcomed it as a “fantastic” idea, saying: “If all dogs were microchipped, everybody would know who a dog was registered to. If there were ever any problems, owners could be found and made to be responsible. I had three dogs and all were microchipped. Any responsible owner would gladly have it done.”

But Robert Stuhldreer, owner of a Crufts winner and co-founder of the Akita Rescue and Welfare Trust and lives in Dunford Road, Holloway, believes the idea is unworkable. “The authorities cannot even police the breeding of banned dogs such as pitbulls so how do they expect to monitor whether dogs have been microchipped?” he said.

From April, Islington Council will also put �25,000-a-year into a employing an assistant dog warden to work with the existing borough dog warden Joe Clarke.