DOG owners had to be turned away from a free-microchipping service at a clinic in Dublin.
Almost 600 pet owners – more than three times the expected number – went to the animal shelter at Mount Venus Road in Rathfarnham in Dublin for the service, which normally costs between €20-€60.
The rush for microchips follows the announcement by Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney that legislation is to be introduced requiring all dogs to be microchipped.
Mr Coveney said he wanted a central database to know how many dogs there were in the country. "Accordingly, if there is a case of a stray dog, or one which has suffered cruelty or was abandoned, we can then establish who owned the dog and take appropriate action,'' he added.
Yesterday the DSPCA held a free dog microchipping event sponsored by Allianz Pet Insurance and were overwhelmed by the number of applications.
Gillian Bird of the Association said so many showed up "we had to turn people away".
She said they would now be looking at holding similar events in Cork and Galway. In the meantime anyone could make an appointment at the veterinary hospital on the campus to have a microchip inserted at a subsidised cost of €25.
The DSPCA has welcomed Mr Coveney's announcement.
It it says has been pushing for this legislation for over a decade.
"The DSPCA sees this as a significant step in the prevention of many issues surrounding dog welfare including dog trafficking, owners' traceability and accountability for the thousands of sick, injured and cruelly treated dogs which the charity deals with each year," it said.
The chip, which is about the size of a grain of rice, is inserted by needle into the dog's neck.
The Association, which is the largest and oldest animal welfare charity in the country, operates "Pettrace" in Ireland which is part of a Europe-wide animal microchip database for over 54 million animals.
Mr Coveney told the Dail this week it would take some time to put the necessary regulation in place and there would be a proper consultation process to ensure it was done right and was cost-effective.
He said microchipping would apply across the board, as it did already with dog-breeding establishments and the greyhound industry.
"We cannot have different standards applying depending on where a puppy happens to come from,'' he added.