In a bid to reduce the number of stray dogs roaming England’s streets, the government has introduced a legal requirement for all dogs to be microchipped by 2016. Have you had your dog microchipped yet?
According to government figures, more than 100,000 dogs are lost or dumped each year at a cost of £57m. So, the government has changed the Animal Warefare Act to stipulate that all dog owners must microchip their pets by 2016, or face fines of up to £500.
If you’re a dog owner, the first thing you might be wondering is, ‘how much is this going to cost me?’ Well, as a rule, microchipping isn’t very expensive, costing between £20 and £30 at most vets. Although, for the time being, a few animal charities are offering free microchipping, such as the Dogs Trust, Blue Cross and Battersea Dogs and Cats home.
Of course, if you rescued your dog from an animal shelter, there’s a chance it may be microchipped already. When I rescued my cat via the RSPCA, part of the small fee we paid to take her home included her microchipping. Personally, I was very happy to pay it. I have the peace of mind of knowing that if my cat does ever wander off, she has a much better chance of making it home again safely.
Straying from the point
My cat’s microchip also comes in handy with her cat flap, as the chip allows Kes in and yet handily keeps the neighbours’ cats out.
However, if she gets lost, it’s only helpful in locating her if my contact details are correct. While writing this, I realised that I haven’t kept my own cat’s microchip data up-to-date. In fact, it’s currently two addresses out-of-date. And while I could probably be tracked down fairly easily – it completely defeats the point of having her chipped.
It seems to me that compulsory microchipping could certainly make a dent in the huge number of dogs being abandoned and lost every year. Is your dog already microchipped? Or have you ever been reunited with a lost pet thanks to a microchip?