Derry and Strabane Council has issued a reminder that all dog owners must have a valid license for their pets.
The warning was issued as the Council urged people to ensure they are aware of responsibilities and long-term commitment involved with dog ownership.
Enda Cummins, Principal Environment Officer at Derry City and Strabane District Council, said: “A responsible dog owner is an owner who ensures the good welfare of his or her pet, keeps their dog under control at all times, never allows their dog to stray, disposes of their pets dog foul immediately and ensures that their dog does not cause nuisance through noise or odour.
“Licensing is considered to be an integral part of responsible dog ownership. All dogs, with the exception of guide dogs, must a valid dog licence. Before you get a dog or a puppy you must get a licence for it, even a puppy that stays with its mother must have a licence by the age of six months.
“It is against the law not to and Council will prosecute if you are caught.”
Anyone licensing a dog should note that it is no longer possible to licence it without including its valid microchip number.
“If your dog is not already licensed or micro chipped maybe consider this as a gift for your pet this Christmas? Not only does it help our dog wardens reunite lost dogs with their owners but it also gives dog owners peace of mind in knowing if their dog is ever lost, there is an increased chance of finding it through our micro chipping system,” added Mr Cummins.
Dog licenses are available online via the Council’s website, at www.derrystrabane.com or can be purchased at Council Offices in Derry or Strabane, or an application can be posted on request.