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Microchip News

Plus incidents to remind you about the importance of chipping

(Includes information by our expert microchip correspondent Katherine Morris)


A microchip is a device about the size of a grain of rice, which is inserted between the shoulder blades of the animal. Inserting a chip is a simple, safe procedure and no more painful than an injection. Each chip carries an identification number linked to a database containing details of the animal, and the name and contact details of the owner. Most vets and animal welfare organisations will have a scanner that will be able to read the microchip. Should the animal wander, its owner can easily be traced by scanning the microchip. Microchips are more reliable than other forms of identification, such as collars, which can get snagged or lost. Vets will microchip your animal, typically charging about 25. Alternatively, contact your local animal welfare organization; some of them run chipping events where your pet can be chipped for as little as 10.


It should go without saying that all animals should be microchipped, but sadly thousands of companion animals around the UK and Ireland still don't have identification chips or else the information contained in them is out of date.

A cat who had disappeared from her home in Hook, Hampshire in 1997 turned up 10 years later in 2007, 60 miles away in Carterton, Oxfordshire. The lucky cat was reunited with her owner through her microchip, which was scanned by the Blue Cross animal sanctuary in Burford.

A woman rescued a dog from Mauritius and brought her loving new companion to the UK. However she hadn't updated her chip contact details with a UK database. One day the dog got lost, but was then subsequently picked up and believed to have been re-homed through a rescue centre in Kent. (LaFAN is unclear as to how knowledge of this found/rehoming situation transpired). However, the woman says the rescue centre refused to inform the dog's new owners of her claim of ownership.
Even though it appears she could provide the chip number to the rescue centre as proof of ID, it seems this evidence isn't considered sufficient leverage to allow the woman to secure re-ownership of her dog. The legal rights of this case are unclear, however at the time of writing the woman was appealing for the return of her dog.

Here are three lessons for animal owners and lost animal finders:

  • Get your companion animal chipped.
  • If you move or bring a chipped animal in from another country, always notify the UK chip registers about change of location / ownbership. Ask your vet for how to update contact details releating to your animal's chip .
  • If you find an animal, take it to a vet or animal rescue centre and have it scanned for a chip.

Also see LaFAN's Useful Tips page



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