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Community Safety

Status dogs collared by tough measures

All dogs kept in council properties could be micro-chipped and a 24-hour stray dogs service introduced as part of plans to clampdown on status dogs, announced by Lambeth Council.

Tenancy agreements could include mandatory dog chipping to support the action plan that was approved by Lambeth Council’s cabinet on Monday night. (July 26) Other measures include more council officers trained in dog handling and tougher enforcement against irresponsible dog owners and illegal breeders.

The plan follows a public consultation by Lambeth Council’s dogs scrutiny commission, which involved the RSPCA, Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, Lambeth Living tenants, and Lambeth Police. Tenants will be able to have their say through further consultation.

Councillor Rachel Heywood, Lambeth Council Cabinet Member for Community Safety, said: “This is an outstanding report which has already become an essential tool in tackling dog-related anti-social behaviour. It will enable the council to work more effectively in partnership with Lambeth Police and the RSPCA to take swift action to protect the public and stop abuse.”

She added: “The vast majority of dog owners in Lambeth are responsible and we want to provide support to all those dog owners who love their dogs and look after them properly. However, there are a small number of people who breed and keep dogs for the sole purpose of intimidating others and using dogs as a weapon and we will not put up with that.”

The 24-hour stray dogs service will provide outside office hours support to ensure stray dogs are taken to either a local authority kennel, or kennels operated by charitable or private trusts. Lambeth Police remain responsible for dealing with actual situations which involve dangerous dogs.

Dog chipping involves a microchip the size of a grain of rice injected under the skin of the dog between the shoulder blades. The chip contains a unique code number, the dog’s name, age, breed and health as well as the owner’s name, address and phone number. When the chip is “read” by a handheld scanner the code number is revealed and the details can be checked on a national database.

If you have concerns regarding an animal’s welfare or suspect animal cruelty contact Lambeth Animal Welfare services on 020 7926 8860 or email animalwelfare@lambeth.gov.uk.¬†Alternatively contact the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999, or Lambeth Council’s anti-social behaviour reporting line on 020 7926 4000.

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