At Lostbox we are dedicated to everything lost and found. A high proportion of the appeals we get are about pets. Some of these animals are not microchipped or are chipped but the contact details on the microchip are not up to date, which severely reduces the chances of reuniting them with their owner.
Last year the Dogs Trust released statistics showing that up to 12 dogs face being put down every day because their owners fail to keep their microchip details up to date.
So to rectify this problem and reduce the amount of dogs being needlessly euthanised, last year Lostbox created the first national #CheckandChip Day. #CheckandChip Day is all about creating awareness amongst pet owners about the importance of microchipping pets. On the 6th of April 2016 the government introduced a bill that made it illegal for dogs to not be microchipped, with a fine of up to £500 if owners don’t comply. Although it is not a legal requirement for you to microchip other pets such as cats or rabbits it is strongly advised.
Dogs Trust found that over 80,000 stray dogs were handled by local authorities during 2015. About half of these strays were reunited with their owners, with 9,000 of those due to a microchip. But many more could have been reunited!
What we need you to do as a pet owner is check your pet’s microchip details are up to date with your current contact details and get your pet microchipped in the first place if they’re not already. To check whether your details need updating you can contact the database your pet’s chip is registered with. Most databases let you update your details via post, phone or online, some may let you do this for free but others may charge a small fee.
If you buy a dog which already has a chip implanted then you must update the details. If you move house, change your phone number or email you need to update the chip details. A microchip will be useless if you do not keep these details up to date!
If your pet is not microchipped then you can take them to one of the following places:
- Animal charities such as Dogs Trust, Blue Cross or PDSA.
- Pet homes such as Battersea Dogs and Cats Home or The Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home.
- Some local councils.
Most places may charge a fee for implanting a microchip however charities such as the Dogs Trust, the Blue Cross or PDSA offers microchipping for free or at a reduced price.
If the worst happens and your pet does go missing there is another benefit to having them microchipped. You can ring your microchipping database and check if the pet has been scanned for a chip for the duration the pet has been missing.
By September 2016 94% of dogs were microchipped! But a Dogs Trust survey found that only 10% of pet owners who moved house thought it was a priority to update their pet’s microchip!
Here at Lostbox we’re all about sharing and we’d love if you could help us raise awareness about National #CheckandChip Day on the 31st of March 2017. We want every owner to microchip their pet and keep the microchip contact details up to date, maximising the chances of being reunited if their pet ever goes missing. We’d love it if you could keep an eye out for our #CheckandChip blogs, posts and tweets and share them with your network. The more people we reach, the more pets we can help protect.
Also, if you’ve had your pet microchipped, just updated your details or simply want to say hi or share pictures of your pets with us tweet us @LostboxUK with #CheckandChip. Your shares will make a huge difference and will help more owners understand the importance of microchipping their pets and updating the microchip contact details.
You can find out more information about microchipping your dog here.