Research by Dogs Trust has revealed that the number of stray dogs handled by local authorities across the UK between April 2015 and March 2016 has declined by 21 per cent compared to the previous year. While it is an improvement, there are still far too many unclaimed dogs in pounds and shelters all over the country - and, worryingly, one in every 8 of these unclaimed dogs are believed to be pets whose owners haven’t updated their microchip details.
As a result, 12 dogs every day find themselves languishing in kennels and potentially facing destruction due to nothing but their owners' forgetfulness, their microchip - which should be their ticket back home - useless.
Dogs Trust Chief Executive Adrian Burder said, “To discover that the number of stray dogs in the UK is down from last year is promising, but with over 37,000 dogs remaining unclaimed in Council pounds last year, it’s clear we still have work to do.
“What’s most saddening from this year’s figures is the 4,732 dogs who face destruction due to a lack of an up- to-date microchip. Compulsory microchipping came into force in Northern Ireland in 2012 and in England, Scotland and Wales on 6 April this year, with penalties being handed out to any dog owner whose pet doesn’t have an up to date microchip. We hope this new law will significantly bring down the number of stray dogs and have a very positive effect on next year’s Stray Dog Survey results.”
That of out-of-date microchip details is a problem that was highlighted on 31 March 2016 during the National #CheckandChip Day, a campaign launched by lost-and-found website Lostbox.
“Every day at Lostbox we get dozens of reports of cats and dogs that have been found, they have been scanned for a chip, a chip is found but the chip details are out of date. This makes it difficult for us to contact the owner and reunite the pet,” Lostbox said in a statement when launching the campaign.
Changing your details on your pet’s microchip is easy: all you need to do is contacting the database the chip is registered to, and have your contact details updated. Without the information to contact you – be it your current address or newest phone number – your dog’s microchip would be rendered useless, and a reunion far more difficult.
Image by Dogs Trust.