Lost, Stolen or Strayed?

Right you lot, if anyone out there can give me a good enough reason why your pet isn’t microchipped, I’d love to hear it – there really is no excuse these days.

A permanent identification of your four-legged loved-one is not only cheap and easily arranged, but relatively pain-free as well. It’s all too common for our precious pets to go missing and if this happens it could mean days or weeks of worry for all involved.

This month sees the launch of National Microchipping Month, organized annually by the Kennel Club’s fantastic pet reunification service, Petlog. Various activities around the country such as microchipping clinics in vets’ surgeries are highlighting how microchipping can ensure you never lose that special someone in your life.

And it’s not just about pets simply ‘getting lost’. Pet theft is still on the increase with many pedigree animals being snatched from back-gardens, outside shops and even cars. It’s also a sad fact that animals will always get involved in road traffic accidents (RTAs).

Some are fatal, some just glancing blows, and some will require treatment for shock and stabilization; but whatever the injuries, the owner will always need to be contacted immediately, as they usually aren’t the one’s bringing them in.

Traditional collars and tags are all-too-easily detached or removed, so as vets, we always as a rule, scan lost pets, strays and RTAs for a microchip; but the majority are never chipped, and tragically, hardly ever reunited with their distraught owners.

And did you know that it’s not just dogs and cats that can be microchipped? A range of pets including horses, birds and even fish can be suitable candidates. The simple procedure involves implanting a tiny microchip which the size of a grain of rice (above) under the skin, permanently identifying your pet.

Each microchip carries a unique code which – together with details about your pet and your contact details – is held on a central computer database. Vets, the police and pet rescue organizations all have special hand-held scanners that can detect and “read” the information on the microchip – identifying your pet and enabling you to be reached asap.

So, should the unthinkable happen and your pet goes missing, you really will have the best chance of being reunited. So why not celebrate National Microchipping Month by having your pet microchipped?

Vet surgeries have been putting their events up on the Kennel Club website (see below), where pet owners can now go and find the clinic nearest to them, and finally get it done (if it hasn’t been already).  Please don’t take any risks.

For more info visit www.nationalmicrochippingmonth.org.uk and www.petlog.org.uk

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