Stray Aid - A Stray Dog's Best Friend - Charity No. 1117372
0300 999 4247Click here to Donate


From April 2016, it has been COMPULSORY for all dogs to be microchipped before 8 weeks of age, or before sale if sold before 8 weeks old. Stray Aid working in partnership with Durham, Hartlepool and Middlesbrough Councils and Dogs Trust is able to provide FREE microchipping to dog owners in the North East of England subject to certain conditions.*
FREE CHIPPING is available, by appointment only, at our animal welfare centre at

Stray Aid Rescue Kennels, Cornforth Lane, Coxhoe DH6 4EJ. Please contact 0300 9994247 to advise our staff and to make an appointment at least the day before you intend to come to make sure we have a volunteer available to assist you.

*Terms for free chipping:-
1. The owner must produce a current utility-type bill (gas, phone, council tax etc.) for the address the pet is to be chipped to.
2. The address to which the chip will be issued must be in the North East of England.
3. The free chipping campaign is for owned dogs only.
4. The pet owner indemnifies Stray Aid against any problems caused by the insertion of the device, or loss or failure to reunite the pet with the owner in the future, howsoever caused.
5. Stray Aid will not chip dogs under 6 months, and reserves the right to refuse to chip any dog including very small dogs, together with dogs with obvious health or temperament problems.

6. We advise that all dogs are fully vaccinated before attending the site, as stray dogs are brought in daily.

Please note, this initiative is only for qualifying dogs. Cats and other animals cannot be chipped for free under this scheme.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is a microchip?
A small device approximately the size of a grain of rice encased in special surgical glass implanted under the skin of your pet, usually between its shoulder blades.

What does it do?
The chip carries a unique 15-digit number to identify the host. It does not carry any other information. This number is held at a central database which keeps the dogs and owner's details available for reference.

How long does the chip last?
It is totally passive and has no battery. It is energised by the radio wave from the reader and transmits its unique code. For this reason the chip should easily last the lifetime of the dog.

Can it stop working?
Very occasionally a chip cannot be found. This may be because it has moved, or has stopped working. For this reason, have your chip checked occasionally. It is a good idea to ask your vet to check the chip each year when your dog is vaccinated.

What details are required?
The dog's name, date of birth, breed, colour, sex and whether or not it is neutered all help to identify the dog. Your name, address and phone number help to identify you. The more information held at the database, the more likely it will be that your dog can be successfully traced back to you. It is a good idea to provide several phone numbers ie. home, work, mobile or even a friend or relative's number, to assist with locating you even if some of your details change.

Who can access this information?
Vets, dog wardens and dog rescue centres use special scanners to read the chip. They must be registered with the database and give a special security code number before they can see your details. Your details are used only for reunification and are protected by the Data Protection Act.

Does it hurt the dog?
The chipping process is like getting your ears pierced. Most dogs don't even flinch, however some, especially thin or pink-skinned dogs will sometimes yelp.

Will it make the dog bleed?
Sometimes the implant site will bleed and the implanter may need to apply pressure or even wet cotton wool to the site whilst the blood clots. If it starts bleeding again when you get home, do the same but if it does not stop after a few minutes, contact your vet. Get the vet to scan the dog to ensure that the chip has not fallen out.

How do I change my details?
Contact the reunification centre on 08006528977, or visit . You will need to give them your pet's unique microchip number. If you do not have it, contact your local vet, dog warden or rescue centre and they will be happy to read the chip for you. The reunification centre will help you through the process but they may charge a fee.

How do I know if my pet is registered correctly?
The reunification centre will issue a certificate of registration to you. Check the details carefully and advise them immediately of any errors. You should receive this certificate within about 4 weeks of the dog being chipped. If you do not receive a certificate during this time, please contact the Stray Aid's Rescue Centre on 0191 3772415 for advice.

What if I lose my pet?
Contact the reunification centre on 08006528977 as soon as you realise your pet is missing. Check that the details that are held by the centre are still current, and advise them of when and where it went missing. If you have reported your pet missing, this will prevent anyone else from amending your details illegally.

What if my dog is already chipped to someone else?
Advise the registered owner of the situation and ask them about the history of the dog. Advise the reunification centre, who will check if the dog has been reported lost or stolen, and they will contact the registered owners and unless they hear otherwise they will transfer the details to you after 28 days. This needs to be done in writing and they may make a charge.

Why should I have my dog chipped?
Every year, thousands of dogs are lost or stolen. You greatly increase the chance of your dog being returned to you if it is chipped. Many councils will, under certain circumstances, return a chipped dog to its owner free of charge. If they cannot identify the dog immediately, it will be taken to the county pound and you will have to pay a fine to get it back.

Be a responsible dog owner and have your dog chipped soon!

Shotton Chipping

It's important to have your dog microchipped, these two dogs are getting their free microchips at one of our free microchipping events where our ambulance drives out with a trained microchipping team. This even took place at Shotton Community Centre. Over 40 dogs received free microchips at this one event, we chip hundreds of dogs every year!

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