There is a stat out of the United Kingdom that says about 1.5 million dogs there are without a microchip that carries identification information. That means that 1.5 million dogs, if ever lost, will be that much more difficult to return to their families, and also costs shelters and government based animal services a ton of money and extra effort. The new law takes effect next month, and if your dog is found without a chip, you could be fined.
The microchips for pets have been around for quite some time. However, not every dog that gets sold or adopted is outfitted with one, and really can depend on how you got your dog. If you got your dog from your local SPCA, or other shelter, many times the dog will be “chipped” there if he or she has been given one before they got there. However, if you bought your dog off of a breeder, or somewhere online, it’s very unlikely the dog will be given one.
So, a dog brought into a shelter without a chip will definitely make finding the dog’s family a bit more difficult. Yes, social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter has been a huge help in finding families of missing dogs and calling attention to abusive humans to help bring them to justice. However, it isn’t 100% perfect, and doesn’t work all the time. Also, there is a larger expense that shelters will face when a dog that lacks any identification is brought in.
In an effort to make things easier, and to increase the rate at which dogs are brought back home to the right people, the UK has a law going into effect that is going to require people to have their dogs chipped. When you think about it, the idea has the potential to benefit everyone involved.
The rules are pretty clear on what you have to do, and what your continuing responsibilities will be as well. For instance, you will have to get your dog chipped which does come with a small charge from the provider of the service, and you also must be sure to keep the information up-to-date. Considering the fine will be around $500 GBP, the small charge for the chip will be more than worth it. Plus, the move is estimated to save animal services and shelters $57 million (GPB) a year.
Dog parents have until April 6th to assure that they are compliant with the new law. The chip must be fitted by a trained professional. People can contact The Dogs Trust, the Blue Cross centers, Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, or your local vet or animal shelter for more information.