Milnthorpe kennels’ giant dog tag record bid marks microchip law change

Stella Norman, John Burrow from Furmanite and Elaine Hall from South Lakeland District Council.
Stella Norman, John Burrow from Furmanite and Elaine Hall from South Lakeland District Council.

A South Lakeland kennels is keeping its fingers (and paws) crossed after making a world record bid to create the planet’s biggest ever dog tag and mark a major law change for pet owners.

Milnthorpe Kennels and Cattery has been working with Kendal College and South Lakeland District Council to create the 600mm by 400mm by 20mm dog tag, which is made of aluminium.

Stella Norman, who manages Milnthorpe Kennels and Cattery, said it had gathered evidence to send to Guinness in the hope of getting the dog tag officially declared as the biggest the world has ever seen.

The record attempt was organised to bring people’s attention to new legislation which came into force on April 6 making it a legal requirement for dog owners to have their pets microchipped.

Anyone who does not get their dog microchipped and registered on an approved database could be fined £500.

It is already a legal requirement for owners to give their dogs a collar and tag with their name and address or risk a fine of up to £5,000.

Mrs Norman said: “We wanted to do something positive in the community as part of our 10 year anniversary in business and chose to bring people’s attention to the change in the law and how important it is to get their dogs tagged and microchipped, because it is the easiest and quickest way for us to reunite them with their owners.

“It is just as much part of being a responsible dog owner as giving them their regular vaccinations, or scooping up their poo in the street.

“We have many people to thank including the council, Kendal College, Furmanite (Kendal), WEC, Custom Colour Anodising, Atlas, C&R Walne Engravers and our witnesses who have given us vital help in making and validating the dog tag.

“We are sending all the required evidence to Guinness World Records and we’ll have to wait and hope that we can get it validated as the largest in the world.”

Animal care students from Kendal College were tasked with coming up with the design for the dog tag, while engineering students worked with tutor Alex Bergus to develop the design for production.

Zaeed Mohammed, assistant head of school for Animal Care, said: “The benefits to the students were great. It was highly engaging and informative for animal care students to be involved with the design and how to convey the message of microchipping.

“Getting the engineering students to work with Alex and look at the processes involved in the material choice, limitations of design and manufacturing stage gave these learners a unique insight.”

John Burrow, from Furmanite, in Kendal, used a pair of the company’s calipers to officially measure the dog tag as part of the validation process for Guinness World Records.

Milnthorpe Kennels and Cattery is South Lakeland District Council’s contracted kennels for dealing with strays.

Elaine Hall, business resources officer for the council’s neighbourhood services team, said: “The kennels came to us with the idea last year and we thought it was a great way to promote the message that owners need to take responsibility for their pets.

“Chipping and tagging your dog makes it so much easier for us to easily identify them and return them to owners quickly, which is better for everybody.”