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Two abandoned Staffordshire bull terriers have sparked a council campaign to get all dogs microchipped..
The dogs are just two in a rising number of strays being picked up without collars in the South Hams.
Dog warden Malcolm Orchard fears that the reason more animals are being abandoned is because household incomes are being stretched.
And now the council is launching the campaign in partnership with Animals in Distress at Ipplepen to coincide with National Microchip Awareness Month.
They are offering to microchip any dogs through June and July for £5. Charges for microchipping are normally around £25.
Malcolm says: "The problem is that some owners do not take the time to check on what becoming a dog owner really means. They don't look at it too deeply - the level of exercise, how much time has to be spent training a young puppy and the level of knowledge you need to ensure that the animal is looked after.'
He says dogs can cost up to £30 a week to feed and veterinary costs can also be high.
Leader of South Hams District Council Cllr John Tucker, who farms in Dittisham, said: "It is time that pet owners joined the likes of other people who look after animals like farmers in having to register ownership of every animal on our farm"
Microchipping just involves injecting a small device under the skin of the animal which when scanned by a microchip reader displays a unique number held on a national register by the RSPCA and Petlog. This scheme helps to reunite lost and stolen dogs country-wide, but the dog still needs visible identification on a collar. If a pet goes missing, and has no collar or identification, a kennel will charge £160 for collecting and housing the dog and £12 a day kennel fees on top. But if you take it to a vet he will be able to scan and possibly re-unite with the owner by phone without involving the Dog Warden.
Call 01803 812121 and arranged to get your pet chipped.