A spate of stray dogs found in Essex has prompted a leading vet to issue an urgent reminder that microchipping is mandatory in the UK.
Kevin Wood, Clinical Director at Cherrydown Vets, has spoken out after a succession of stray dogs were handed into their practices in Basildon, Wickford and Stanford-Le-Hope in recent weeks.
Returning the dogs to their owners has proved extremely difficult as a number of the strays were not microchipped, while others had microchips which contained out-of-date information.
Kevin said: “The law in this country demands every dog over eight weeks old is microchipped and the contact details on the microchip kept up-to-date and kept on a government-approved register.
“This helps ensure they can be easily identified should they ever go missing or if they are stolen.
“It’s a common sense thing for any dog-lover to do but what’s just as important is that if you fail to microchip your dog, or fail to keep their records up-to-date, you can be fined.”
The Basildon-based vet says microchipping is a quick, easy and harmless way to protect your dog and is available at Cherrydown’s surgeries in Basildon, Stanford-Le-Hope and Wickford.
Kevin said: “Microchips are easily implanted with an injection into the scruff of the neck at a routine appointment and then immediately checked to ensure they can be read by a scanner.
“It’s a quick procedure which is not harmful to pets but makes sure they can be swiftly returned home if they ever go astray.
“Similarly, if members of the public happen to find a stray animal, they’re welcome to bring the pet to our branches where one of our nurses will be able to scan the animal for identification and assist in finding the owners.”