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Bella back home safe and sound…
15 April 2016
Willows were recently delighted to be able to reunite little Bella with her very worried owners after she had managed to escape from home. A very kind member of the public had spotted Bella out on her own and brought her in to Willows to be checked for a microchip.
Bella happy at home
Bella was checked for a microchip using a reader device and happily she was found to be chipped. This meant that we were able to contact her owners very quickly and reunite Bella with her very worried family!
Bella’s owners were absolutely delighted to have Bella back home unharmed and were very thankful that Bella was chipped. Bella’s collar irritates her skin so she does not wear it in the house, so she had no visible forms of identity when found wandering.
MICROCHIPPING – A NEW LEGAL REQUIREMENT FOR DOGS!
Until now, microchipping has been advisable although not an essential part of dog (and other pet) ownership.
However changes to the law, which came into effect on 6th April 2016, have meant that microchipping dogs is now a legal requirement. The aim is to reduce the burden of stray dogs on local councils and animal charities, currently estimated at around £33m per year. Compulsory microchipping will also make the theft of dogs more problematic as identifying them will be easier.
Under the terms of the Microchipping of Dogs (England) Regulations 2015 all dogs over the age of eight weeks, which are not certified working dogs, have to be microchipped. In many cases this means that breeders have to ensure that it is done before pups go to their new homes. Only in exceptional circumstances will vets be able to certify that a dog is medically unfit to be chipped. Owners of dogs who do not comply with the new regulations can be fined up to £500.
Microchipping involves the implantation of a small identity chip, about the size of a grain of rice, under the skin between a dog’s shoulder blades. This is done using a sterile needle and does not require an anaesthetic. Identity chips are coated in a biocompatible glass, which is the same as used for human pacemakers, so they should not cause any reaction.
What happens if my dog goes missing?
All establishments where stray dogs are routinely taken, including the local council, police and veterinary practices, have access to electronic scanners which read the identity chip’s unique fifteen digit number. They then contact the relevant database to match the chip number with the owner’s contact details, and quickly get in touch to let the owner know that the dog has been found. This can be done within minutes but it is therefore essential that once your dog is chipped, you keep your contact details up to date by informing the database of any changes.
What about cats?
Cats are not covered by the new legislation which means that the decision to have them microchipped is still very much one of owner's’ choice. However as they have such a tendency to roam (and to lose collars!) it is certainly something we at Willows feel remains very important.
What if I can't remember whether my dog is microchipped or not?
It is very easy to check for a microchip using a scanner so if you are not sure please let us know. We can arrange for a member of staff to scan your dog and check for a working chip. We always check for an existing chip before implanting a new one.
How do I arrange microchipping? Implanting a microchip is a procedure that can be done in a routine consultation so please contact reception to book a slot.