Twelve dogs face being put to sleep daily as owners fail to update microchip details

A Dogs Trust puppy.

A Dogs Trust puppy. - Credit: PA

A total of 122 dogs were put to sleep by local authorities in East Anglia last year due to their owners not being contactable.

Figures revealed on Tuesday by Dogs Trust show that around 4,500 lost and abandoned dogs were taken into local authority kennels in East Anglia last year.

They also showed that more than 40pc of them are pets who cannot be returned because outdated microchip information means their owners cannot be traced, and they are at risk of being destroyed.

In the annual Stray Dog Survey, taken among local authorities, figures for East Anglia are largely positive with 4,359 stray and abandoned dogs handled by local councils in the region between 2015 and 2016. This represents a 39pc decrease from the 7,210 dogs handled during the same period in 2014-2015.

The number of strays that were reunited with their owners remains in line with last year, with 2,664 dogs reunited with their owners, 725 as a direct result of the dog having a microchip.

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Paige Langton, Dogs Trust Snetterton Supporter Relations Officer said: 'It's shocking to learn that 41pc of the unclaimed dogs in the Anglia region are actually much-loved family pets who are left languishing in kennels or, worse, face being put to sleep without their owner's knowledge, simply because their owners were too forgetful to update their details on the microchip database.

'It's heartbreaking that these lost dogs will never find their way home, as it's something which could so easily have been avoided with a bit of forward planning.'

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In April this year it became legally compulsory for all pet dogs to be microchipped with up-to-date contact details for their owners. Those owners who fail to comply may face a fine of up to £500.

Nationally, the charity found that 3,463 stray dogs were put to sleep between April 2015 and March 2016, while a further 37,283 remained unclaimed in kennels.

But it also found that the total number of stray dogs handled in the last year (81,050) had decreased by 21pc compared with the previous year (102,516).

Figures showed that 43,767 of last year's strays were reunited with their owners, with 9,000 cases due to a microchip.

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