Why Microchipping and Registering Your Pet is so Important
In New Zealand, it is compulsory that all dogs registered for the first time since July 2006 are microchipped (with the exception of farm dogs used for stock control). Under the Dog Control Act 1996, all dogs are required to be registered with their local council. You can read more about microchipping and registering your pet below.
Although you might not want to think about it: pets do go missing. Many cats and dogs are placed in SPCA and associated shelters each year (with plenty of other pets going AWOL too). Thankfully, the microchip registration scheme ensures that many are ultimately reunited with their owners. Are you planning on boarding your pet, or do you have a pet-sitter taking care of your cat or dog? Then it's even more important that your pet is microchipped. Indeed, animals are unpredictable, especially when their situation changes: if they have a new pet-sitter or are temporarily staying at another home, then there's an increased risk they may run away. So, whilst it's important to be extra vigilant by making sure all fences are secure, doors are locked and your dog is always on a lead when taking a walk, for example, microchip registration is an ABSOLUTE must.
The information in a tiny microchip the size of a grain of rice, located under a pet's skin, can be read using special readers. Most veterinarians, animal shelters and rescue centres have these readers on the premises. The reader will reveal the chip's registration number, with which one can look up the owner's contact information on the National Dog Database (provided that the chip is correctly registered). This way, the missing animal can be returned to its owner.
It's therefore essential that your pet's microchip data remains current: that the correct contact details are listed in the database and not, for example, a previous address or former owner (you can update these details online). Always ensure that your pet is not only microchipped, but that they are registered with your local city council . You can find their microchip number in your pet's insurance or adoption documentation or your pet's veterinary records (or alternatively, take your pet to the vet to have their microchip number read).
Has your pet gone missing? Or have you perhaps found a suspected missing pet? Fortunately a vet or shelter can easily determine whether the animal is microchipped and the owner is often tracked down extremely quickly. You can also report a lost or found pet at the SPCA, New Zealand Companion Animal Register, your local city council and many other local pounds and shelters - thanks to these organisations, many pets and owners have been reunited.
Has your pet been microchipped? And is the registration still in order? Check today, without delay!