The West

Microchips help pets get home after storm
Dogs like Marlo will soon need to be microchipped by law.

Shire of Broome rangers reunited six dogs with their owners when they disappeared during a recent thunderstorm using microchipping technology.

The rangers confirmed picking up the lost canines when Broome experienced a heavy thunderstorm in the early hours of November 15.

Shire emergency, ranger and beach services manager Paul Dickson said the new Dog Amendment Act made it much easier for rangers to reunite dogs with their owners. "Dogs are required to be kept securely, but in the case that a dog does get out and is picked up by rangers it's a relatively simple job to return the dog to its owners if it has a microchip," he said.

"A microchip can't be lost in the way that a collar and tag can be.

"Since November 1 this year, the law requires all newly registered dogs to be fitted with microchips, and for dogs to have microchips before they are sold."

Mr Dickinson said the Act required all dogs to have a microchip on November 1, 2015.

"The legislation also introduces stricter controls on dangerous dogs, covering restricted breeds, individual dogs and commercial security dogs.

Department of Local Government and Communities director general Jennifer Mathews said increased community safety and responsible pet ownership were at the forefront of considerations when introducing the legislation.

"The two-year period to November 2015 for existing dogs to be microchipped will allow owners sufficient time to have the procedure done during a routine visit to the vet," she said.

"The amendments to the legislation also strengthen and clarify enforcement and administration issues that have been raised by local governments and the community."

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