Dogs Trust

More than two thirds of dog owners in Scotland don't realise they are breaking the law

Research conducted by our campaigns team in Scotland has shown that 70% of dog owners don't realise it is a legal requirement for their dog to wear a collar and tag while out in public. This comes as our campaigns team in Scotland mark the end of their first year holding community events to improve animal welfare across the country.

In 1992 it was made a legal requirement that any dog in a public place must wear a collar with the name and address (including postcode) of the owner engraved or written on it, or engraved on a tag.

Over the last 12 months the team have travelled more than 10,000 miles to hold 82 community events, where they promoted responsible dog ownership to local dog owners up and down Scotland. In excess of 2,369 dogs were seen at these events and more than two thirds of them weren't wearing an ID tag on their collar.

Jennifer Terris, our Campaigns Manager in Scotland, said:

"There are a number of reasons dog owners have for not providing their pets with an ID tag. Many think the law requiring their pets to be microchipped has replaced that of ID tags, which simply isn't true, others don't realise this law exists; with some stating they gave up buying their dog an ID tag because they keep loosing them.

"At our community events we always provide people with free temporary ID tags when their dogs don't have one and dog owners always seem happy to get them. Not only are they a necessity but we always point out that if a dog escapes from the home and someone in the park where to come across it, they would be able to get the dog back to its family from the details of the ID tag, as they're highly unlikely to have a microchip scanner to hand.

"Ensuring your dog has an ID tag means that it can be returned quickly if found by a member of the public, giving you piece of mind. It can also mean that your dog doesn't need to be taken to a local pond, which reduces the chances of being charged kennel fees when you go to reclaim your family pet.

"Our community events over the last year have really helped us understand dog welfare issues affecting the canine population in Scotland; and by working with local authorities, housing associations and community groups, we are in a strong position to develop tailored campaigns in regions most in need of support."

Read our advice on what to do if your dog goes missing.

Click here to arrange an event with our Campaigns team!