More than 1,700 dogs have been microchipped free of charge thanks to a campaign led by Durham County Council.
As of April last year, all dogs should be microchipped by the time they are eight weeks old.
The chips allow details of the animals’ owners to be registered on a database, making it easier for people to be reunited with their pets thereby reducing numbers of strays.
Ahead of the legislation coming into force, Durham County Council launched the #BeLikeChip campaign which provided free microchipping and raised awareness of the need for all dogs to be microchipped.
#BeLikeChip saw the council working in partnership with national dog charity Dogs Trust, local charity Stray Aid, Durham Constabulary, Dale and Valley Homes and East Durham Homes, with 1,769 dogs being microchipped.
Owners of dogs that already had been microchipped were able to get the chip checked to ensure that their details were up to date in compliance with the new law.
Ian Hoult, Durham County Council’s neighbourhood protection manager, said: “More than 1,700 dogs were microchipped free of charge through #BeLikeChip following its launch last March and we’d like to thank all our partners in the campaign for helping make it such a success.
“We’d also like to remind dog owners that they must have their pets microchipped and their details registered and kept up to date.”
Cllr Brian Stephens, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for neighbourhoods and local partnerships, said: “The importance of responsible dog ownership cannot be underestimated.
“Getting dogs microchipped enables pets which go missing to be reunited with their owner.
“This means fewer strays, which incur considerable costs for us as the responsible authority.”
#BeLikeChip was backed by County Durham Crufts winners, Devon and her owner Marie Burns.
Pet owners who do not get their animals microchipped can be fined £500.
Free microchipping is still available from Stray Aid subject to terms and conditions. Appointments should be made at least a day in advance on 0300 999 4247.
Vets also carry out microchipping but may charge. To find out more about microchipping, visit www.durham.gov.uk/microchipping or phone 03000 261 000.
Anyone thinking of buying a puppy can also visit www.durham.gov.uk/buyingapuppy