A DOG rescue charity has praised the Government's plans to microchip every dog in England by 2016 which intends to cut a rise in strays.

If owners ignore it they could be fined up to £500.

The chip, usually put on the animal by a vet, contains the owner's details and can be read using a scanner.

Stokenchurch Dog Rescue takes in hundreds of dogs every year and many are found to have no chips.

Nationally about 110,000 dogs are picked up as strays every year with about half unable to be reunited with their owners because they cannot be identified.

Some rescue centres put dogs to sleep if too many are brought in and kennel space is limited, but the Stokenchurch charity has a policy to never put a healthy dog to sleep and rehomes nearly 40 dogs a month.

They always chip them before they go to new owners.

Spokesman Geoff Perfitt, said: "We much welcome this government compulsory measure. It can’t come soon enough. It will mean welfare charities like us, and the police and councils, can trace owners of dogs which have strayed or have been mistreated, neglected, abandoned or lost. Distress for humans and dogs is reduced. It’s bad news too for irresponsible dog owners."