Thousands of tenants will be forced to microchip their pets – to stop hundreds of dogs being left abandoned on the streets.

Brighton and Hove City Council said the number of stray dogs in the city has doubled since 2008.

Of the 400 reported last year, local authority bosses said only half could be returned to their owners with the remaining 200 placed in over-burdened rescue homes.

To combat the problem, officials are telling all residents in its 12,300 properties they must register and microchip their pets with the council.

It will also ban tenants from “irresponsibly” breeding animals with anyone flouting the law facing a fine and possible eviction from their home.

It is understood that anyone who does not microchip their pet will also face a fine.

Liz Wakefield, chairman of the council’s housing committee, said: “The council is supportive of pet ownership and we do help people to keep their pets when they are experiencing problems.

“But it is equally important for the community as a whole, that tenants are clear about the penalties for disregard of legislated animal welfare.”

Irresponsible ownership

Letters are currently being sent to properties and community groups across the city informing them of the new policy.

It comes after a series of complaints from residents about irresponsible pet ownership.

One resident of a block in Grove Hill, Brighton, said she was getting little sleep as dogs in her building kept her awake.

She said: “When I moved into the block in 1987 it was for over 50s and no dogs were allowed so I had to let my beloved dog go.

“Now the place is full of dogs.”

Dawn Barnett, who represents Hangleton and Knoll on the council, said there were cases in her ward where some tenants had three dogs in a one bedroom flat.

She added neighbours were complaining about antisocial behaviour, including late-night noise and fouling.

Coun Barnett said: “People who dump their pets on the street are not animal lovers. The council is 100% right on this and has to be done to stop cruelty to animals.

“To microchip a pet is to protect it.”

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