local Dog owners warned to obtain a valid licence or face a fine
Local dog owners are being encouraged to apply for a dog licence for their pet, particularly with the significant increase in new pets during the Covid19 pandemic.
All dogs, with the exception of guide dogs, are required by law to hold a valid licence which should be renewed every 12 months and the Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Alderman Graham Warke, today appealed to pet owners to take a responsible approach to looking after their animal.
"When taking on the responsibility of a new pet it's good to start out on the right footing by applying for a licence right away," he stressed. "All dogs in Northern Ireland must be microchipped at eight weeks old. It's the law, and it ensures your dog's identity is properly registered should your pet get lost or stolen, making it much easier to ensure a safe return.
"It's a responsible approach to pet ownership, and it encourages owners to get dogs microchipped, as this is a requirement to obtain a licence. Not to mention that it could save you money. It's an offence to own an unlicensed pet so you could end up with a fine!"
A Dog licence only costs £12.50 and there are reduced licence fees available for some dog owners. Over 65's can licence their first dog for free, with additional pets costing £5. Anyone receiving income related benefits can also avail of the reduced fee.
Dogs must be licensed before taking ownership and anyone who refuses to obtain a valid licence may be liable for a maximum fine of £1,000. Owners are also reminded that dogs must wear an identity disc with the owner's name, address and contact number. Dog Wardens are also out checking on expired dog licences and where appropriate £80 Fixed Penalty Notices are being issued.
Application forms for a dog licence, or for the renewal of a dog licence, are available from council offices and online, so it's never been easier to licence your pet.
You can find out more information and licence your dog online at www.derrystrabane.com/Online-Services/Dog-Licences
You can also obtain a dog licence at the Environmental Health Department, Derry City and Strabane District Council, 98 Strand Road, BT48 7NN or Dog Control, Derry City and Strabane District Council, 47 Derry Road, Strabane, BT82 8DY.
Alternatively, an application can be posted out on request. The completed form should be returned to the address above, with your cheque or postal order