We recommend that animals are microchipped to enable a speedy return home should they become lost and ensure that they can be positively identified if required. It is now a legal requirement for all dogs over the age of 8 weeks. However, given that cats are the most likely to go walkabout, we also strongly advise that they are chipped to help track them down.
The procedure involves inserting a small microchip (the size of a grain of rice) under the skin between their shoulderblades. Insertion causes minor discomfort only and most animals tolerate the procedure very well. We use Identichip microchips which is one of the leading brands because of their reliability and anti-migration technology to ensure the chip stays in the correct place under the skin. The microchip has a serial number that can be read using a scanner device. This serial number is registered against the animal and owner's details on a central national database called Anibase. Vets, police and animal rescue organisations are all able to scan lost animals on arrival and have access to the database to quickly obtain the owner's contact details. This is far more reliable than tags on collars as these tags and/or collars are often lost when an animal goes missing. Once implanted the microchip should last a lifetime.
We have had many cases over the years where we are contacting an owner before they even know that their pet is missing (eg. dogs that have escaped from the garden).
Please let us know when booking an appointment if you wish your animal to be microchipped as there is some paperwork that needs to be done in advance.
To register or change the details for a microchip on the database you will need the animal's microchip number and the security code which can both be found on your pet's microchip registration certificate. You can then visit the Anibase website to enter your details. Initial registration is free but there can be a small fee from the database for future amendments. If you don't have the registration certificate (for instance where an animal has been rescued or rehomed) then you will need the microchip number which we can provide by scanning the animal if they are brought to the practice. In cases where the animal has been microchipped elsewhere their details may be held by another database company but by visiting the Anibase website or phoning them on 01904 487600 and providing the chip number they will be able to give you the contact details for the correct database company.
In cases where you were not the initial registered owner of the pet (eg. rescued or rehomed animals) a letter signed by the registered owner requesting a change of ownership details will be requested. This is required for data security and protection. Where such a letter is not possible, the database company will send a relinquishment letter to the registered owner and give them 30 days to respond. If no response is made then permission is assumed and the database are legally allowed to amend the relevant details registered against the microchip number.