PET owners in Huddersfield are being urged to get their dogs microchipped - to reduce the risk of them being impounded as strays.
Kirklees dog wardens collect more than 600 dogs each year and across the country strays cause around 50,000 road accidents.
It is a legal requirement for dogs to carry identity information on their collars, but they may lose them and stray away from home.
In these cases the dog warden is unable to return the pet to it's owner - with the devastating result of the dogs being re-homed or destroyed if left unclaimed.
John Stead, senior animal welfare officer for Kirklees, said: "The number of stray dogs we pick up has stayed fairly stable for the last few years - at one point we were picking up 1,000!
"But there are still many owners who are ignorant.
"They haven't looked at the legal implications of having a dog. They are not aware of the fact that they can be prosecuted for a stray dog.
"When we pick up a stray dog, if it's possible we take it back - if not it goes into kennels for the safety of the dog.
"The stray is then held in the kennels for seven days as a legal requirement.
"If after that time nobody has come forward, then, if the dog is re-homeable, it will be re-homed. If not it will be put to sleep."
Last year, out of the 600 dogs picked up by Kirklees dog wardens, around half were reclaimed by the owners.
Another 260 were re-homed, but 70 were put to sleep.
Mr Stead added: "There are still some irresponsible dog owners, but fortunately they are in the minority.
"And if more people get their animals microchipped, the situation will be much better for everybody.
"But it is important that owner's keep their contact details up to date so they can be reached if their dog is lost."
Microchipping involves a tiny chip being injected under the animal's skin. Each microchip has a unique number which is stored on a national database. A scan of the chip reveals the owner's name and address from the database's records.
To help combat the problem of stray dogs, owners are being invited to microchip roadshows this month.
At the events, organised by Kirklees Environmental Services, owners can have their pets microchipped at a reduced price of £10 per dog.
The roadshows will be held from 3 to 8pm at Beaumont Park visitor centre on May 22, and at Oakwell Hall information centre in Birstall on May 24.
For more information contact Kirklees Environmental Services on 01484 226883.