WHAT IS IT?
Plus incidents to remind you about the importance of chipping
(Includes information by our expert microchip correspondent Katherine
WHAT IS A "PET"
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
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out of date.
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.
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
- 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