Written by Scott Campbell.
Published at 15:21 GMT on Friday, 10th August 2012.
Cumbernauld 'Good Dog' campaign means North Lanarkshire has over 800 chipped pooches

NORTH Lanarkshire animal welfare officers have seen a surge in dog owners getting their pooches chipped.

The past six weeks have been one of the busiest weeks on record for the council’s animal welfare services, with over 800 dogs chipped.

The surge is being attributed to a high presence by North Lanarkshire Council animal welfare officers at numerous events, from Strathclyde Park to Shotts, Airdrie, Coatbridge and Cumbernauld, with owners lining up to take advantage of the free chipping.

The events were held by North Lanarkshire Council as part of the North Lanarkshire ‘Good Dog’ campaign, which aims to encourage dog owners to clean up after their pets and keep their dogs healthy, safe and well.

"We're delighted with the response from dog owners to this series of events across North Lanarkshire," said Councillor Helen McKenna, Convener of Environmental Services.

Chipping is a painless process to insert a microchip under the dog's skin which allows the animal to be identified and returned to its owner if it becomes lost.

Councillor McKenna added: "The events, run in partnership with PDSA and Dogs Trust, attracted hundreds of dog owners and families for dog health checks and chipping as well as to take part in a host of fun activities. These owners clearly care for their pets and it is encouraging to see so many people having their dogs chipped to keep them safe.

"It was also a great opportunity to remind owners to "bag it and bin it" and clean up after their dogs in public places. Dog faeces can cause infection, particularly in young children and other vulnerable people, so it is very important to keep our streets clean."

As part of the ongoing campaign, North Lanarkshire Council also give out free poop scoops and bags, in addition to encouraging local residents to report problems with dog fouling.

During the six recent events, the animal welfare service provided free dog chipping to: 385 dogs at Strathclyde Park; 153 at Airdrie leisure Centre; 98 at Drumpellier Country Park; 100 at Dykehead Park in Shotts; 36 at Palacerigg Country Park; and 42 at Cumbernauld Community Park.