Posted by Rachel Cunningham
Thousands of animals go missing every year and sadly many of them never find their way home. If they’re lucky they’ll go to an animal charity and be re-homed, but many others are injured or killed in accidents as they roam the streets.
Microchipping is a really easy and inexpensive way to make sure as many lost pets as possible can be reunited with their owners. Rachel Cunningham, Public Affairs Manager at the Blue Cross tells us more.
A microchip is a tiny device, slightly bigger than a grain of rice, which is implanted under the skin on the back of a pet’s neck, just in front of the shoulder blades. Each microchip has a unique number which can be read with a scanner. This number matches a record on a database which contains the owner’s contact details so that they can be contacted straightaway and reunited with their pet.
A special device is used to inject the microchip under the skin. It’s really quick and shouldn’t hurt any more than a regular vaccination.
Your local vet should be able to microchip your pet and it usually costs around £20-£30. Many animal charities and some local authorities also offer a microchipping service service, often at a reduced rate. Contact your nearest one for more information.
At Blue Cross rehoming centres, we take in lots of pets that are microchipped, but whose owners we can’t locate because their details are out-of-date. Be sure to let the microchip database company know as soon as possible if you are moving house or your contact details are changing, so your animal can always be returned to you if it gets lost.
Animal charities and local authorities use scanners to check stray animals for microchips. If they don’t have one it’s almost impossible to reunite them with their family. By microchipping your pet, you’ve got a much higher chance of seeing them again if they go missing and it would mean fewer animals were destroyed because no home can be found for them.
By Rachel Cunningham, Blue Cross public affairs manager. To find out more about the work undertaken by the Blue Cross visit their website, www.bluecross.org.uk.