According to a Dog Trust annual survey, 60% of stray dogs were reunited with their owners, however almost 70% of the microchipped stray dogs collected by local authorities last year were unable to be returned to their owners as their microchips contained out of date information. The charity warns that this outdated information could result in the dogs being at risk of being euthanized by local authorities.
The findings of the report demonstrates that owners are failing to follow the law when it comes to ensuring the details on the microchip are up to date. All dogs in the UK must be fitted with a microchip by the time they are 8 weeks old. Contact details for owners are kept alongside the microchip number on a database, so that if a dog is lost or stolen, it can be returned.
Owners can face fines up to £500 if their dog is not microchipped. Dogs must also still wear a collar and tag when in a public place.
Research suggests that only one in four people know to contact the local dog warden f they come across a stray dog.
Veterinary Record (2017). Importance of keeping microchips up to date, Journal of the British Veterinary Association Vol 181 No 14, doi: 10.1136/vr.j4603