I volunteer for Jacob’s Pound Dogs and have noticed that some of the dogs that are picked up by the dog warden are microchipped, but the chip isn’t registered. Owners think that the chip will reunite them with their dog, but microchips that are implanted outside of the UK are not registered on a database here. What can we do to make the public aware?

NIK OAKLEY ADVISES…

This is a growing problem for dog wardens and DogLost, but unfortunately it is not confined to dogs that have been chipped abroad. Breeders in the UK may chip a puppy but not actually register it for a while. The new owner will usually assume that the chip has been registered immediately. If there is any doubt, you can enter a chip number on Check-a-chip to see if your dog has been chipped and which database the chip is on. Owners can then contact the database and make sure the details are theirs. An overseas chip can be registered through Check-a-chip or directly with Petlog.

Either way, the process will take 28 days and cost around £17. Owners will also need to provide the chip number. Of course, this is only half the story – we need to get the message out there that microchipping is not someone else’s responsibility. Rescues bringing over dogs need to ensure that their adoption packs are crystal clear on the matter and that it is part of the adoption agreement. Any follow-up with the adopter should also involve a check on the chip.

Equally, anyone bringing back an abandoned dog they have fallen in love with on holiday needs to know that the dog must be chipped and registered the moment his paws hit UK soil. While DogLost, Vets Get Scanning and the Stolen and Missing Pets Alliance all do their bit to educate people on the need to ensure chips are registered and up to date, it is incumbent on the database owners to invest in an education programme to ensure that everyone is aware. Too many dogs pay the ultimate price of their lives when they can’t be rehomed or reunited with their owners because of unregistered chips.

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