Microchipping has been mandatory for dogs in the UK for a year now, yet amazingly, some owners still haven’t had their dogs microchipped. This means that should the dog be stolen or get lost, its chances of being reunited with its owner are vastly reduced.
Time and time again we see dogs who have made it back home, sometimes after being missing for extended periods of time, all thanks to that tiny microchip. Yet shockingly, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home is finding that half the stray dogs who end up in its care do not have a microchip.
In an effort to bring attention to this sad statistic, the charity has released photos of twelve dogs who have been brought into their centres as strays who did not have a chip. That’s one photo – one dog – for each month when it’s been the law in the Britain that all dogs should be microchipped.
In the 12 months since the law was introduced, Battersea has had 934 stray dogs brought into its centres in London, Windsor and Kent. Of those, only 480 were microchipped. Although that represents a rise of nearly 10% when compared with the previous 12 months, clearly not everybody is complying with the law.
Another worrying statistic that Battersea has highlighted is that although a dog with a microchip is twice as likely to make it back home, compared to a dog who lacks a chip, only 44% of those dogs with a chip were reunited with their owners. Sadly, this is because those owners had not kept their details up to date with the microchip company.
Pandora, a sweet-natured, lively nine-month-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier, is one such unfortunate dog. Because she lacks a chip, Pandora’s family could not be tracked down, and so she is at Battersea awaiting a new home.
Battersea’s Deputy Chief Executive, Peter Laurie, said: “These pictures show 12 other lovely stray dogs, like Pandora, that have come into our care with no way of tracing their owners. Luckily, we found loving new homes for all these dogs, but we continue to see the consequences of owners failing to chip their animals.
“It’s encouraging to see that more of the strays that come to Battersea are microchipped but there are still so many who aren’t. A microchip is the size of a grain of rice and is totally painless for an animal – there just isn’t a good reason not to get it done, especially now it’s been law for a year.
“By making a decision not to chip their pet or not keeping the chip’s details updated, the owner is gambling that their dog will never go missing. Unfortunately, dogs run away, escape and get stolen – it’s not worth the risk. It’s a simple procedure that could save both you and your pet from weeks of misery and distress.”
Battersea chips every animal in its care and offers free microchipping to all dog owners at its three sites.
For more information on Pandora, or any of the dogs and cats available for rehoming at Battersea, visit www.battersea.org.uk.