Unfortunately, most dogs do not understand the dangers of crossing the roads, and all too often, if they happen to escape from their safe surroundings, can end up as a road casualty. As happened to a terrier in Lincolnshire, fortunately, this time the pooch was three times lucky, as a policeman, a passer-by, and an animal alert service came to its rescue. Having been taken to a vet for treatment, the officer set about alerting a missing dogs website. Luckily, a local member of the public saw the appeal so that the dog was then able to be happily reunited with its owner.
Tag Your Dog!
Heartbreakingly, there are far too many dogs reported missing each year, thousands in fact. It’s vital to use as many ways as possible to identify your dog should they accidentally go missing, thus enabling a quick return to you. Your first step and you are legally obliged to anyway under The Control Of Dog’s Order, is to always have a collar with their address and telephone number on an attached dog tag.
A fine of up to £5000 can be imposed if your dog does not have an identification tag connected to its collar, even though they may have a microchip. It is not advisable to put their name on the tag because any would-be thief could use it to gain a dog’s trust. Other precautionary measures that can be taken are microchipping and registering on a missing pets organization.
It’s the Law
Microchipping your dog became law on April 6th, 2016 and a fine of £500 can be imposed if you don’t have it done. Apart from it being the law, getting your dog microchipped greatly increases the chance of being reunited with them, if they are stolen or go missing. Microchip technology was introduced in 1989 and has become commonplace today, being recognized as the most efficient method of securing a dog’s identity.
Don’t Worry, It Doesn’t Hurt
A microchip, injected between a dog’s shoulder blades into the skin, does not need an
anesthetic, is no more distressing than a routine vaccination, and is a virtually painless procedure. An inserted microchip transmits radio waves, which the scanner translates into the dog’s unique identification number and presents it on the screen. Once injected it remains static for the dog’s lifespan and does not cause any discomfort.
The size of a grain of rice, a microchip uses radio waves to transmit information, although it doesn’t actively transmit, just holds the unique identification number ready for when it needs to be scanned. The number is registered on a national database and sits permanently, and totally inactive, inside the dog until required.
It’s Worth It!
You can get your dog microchipped at vets and also at local authorities and animal welfare groups, where there should be scanners to read the microchips. Prices for microchipping vary but can be between £15 and £30, although you should look out for special, and sometimes free offers at vets, pet shops or welfare organizations. Compared with the cost, (leaflets, fuel, phone calls etc.) not to mention the anguish of searching for your dog, the cost is minimal.
If you are unfortunate enough to lose your dog but lucky enough to have them picked up by a vet or animal welfare organization, then they will be able to be identified by one of the several databases in the UK and returned to you. However, you must remember to keep your facts up to date with your chosen database, details which can be found on your registration documents.
You want to hope that it never happens to you, but be prepared just in case it does.