28 June 2022
There is one reason above all others why we should microchip our pets. It isn’t that it is the law to microchip dogs and soon there will be similar legislation covering cats. Nor is it that failure to microchip can result in a hefty fine. Quite simply, should a much-loved pet become lost or be stolen, the chances of being reunited are far higher if the animal is microchipped and the owner’s details up to date.
The Stray Dogs Survey, carried out by the Dogs Trust, revealed that there has been a 15 per cent decrease in the numbers of dogs handled by local authorities since the change in the law, as microchips allow them to scanned and safely reunited with their owners.
One such lucky dog was Jess, a rather curious 11-year-old, chocolate Labrador. “We think that she took an interest in the cars queueing for the traffic lights at the end of our drive and wandered off,” believes her owner, Pam. “Typically, Jess had lost her name tag only that day on our morning walk. I went off to search for her but to no avail.”
Thankfully, as Pam returned to the house the phone rang. It was the local vets’ practice asking her whether she’d lost a dog. “I am so grateful to the kind motorist who picked Jess up and the people at the vets she was taken to for scanning her and identifying her through the microchip,” says Pam. “Needless to say, we ordered a new name tag that very same day.”
Sadly, the stress of losing a much-loved dog was not so short lived for David and Helen. Lily, their Bolognese, was missing for several days. “I couldn’t eat or sleep worrying about what might have happened to her,” admits Helen. “We feared she’d been stolen or succumbed to the elements because the weather was really cold and wet.”
The pair’s anxiety was heightened by the fact that Lily was a puppy farm rescue and easily frightened. “Thankfully, the charity Harvey’s Army helped us inform all the local vets, rescues and the authorities that Lily was missing but microchipped, so we knew that if she was picked up there was a good chance we would get her back,” explains Helen.
“When Lily was found five miles from home she was bedraggled, hungry and tired but it was the best feeling when we collected her and she was soon home with the rest the family,” says Helen.
According to the Dogs Trust’s Stray Dog Survey, a very concerning 69 per cent of seized dogs that were microchipped were not able to be reunited with their owners because the contact details connected to the chip were incorrect.
“I can’t stress how important it is to make sure you keep your details up to date,” says Jackie Taylor from Peddymark. “It is very easy to do; many companies send regular reminders. It can help prevent so much distress.”
Lily is one of a four dogs belonging to Helen and David; all puppy farm rescues from charity Pro Dogs Direct. “One of the very first things we did when Lily came home was ensure the details on all our gang’s microchips were correct and up to date,” says Helen. “I wouldn’t wish the upset of losing a dog and never being reunited on anybody.”
With an Agria Pet Insurance policy, you can access the free Pet Health Helpline, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The veterinary-trained team will advise on any concerns or queries that you may have over your pet’s health – much like the NHS 111 service for people. Call free on 03333 32 19 47.