Good news for dogs and dog lovers everywhere! It will now be compulsory for all dogs to be microchipped, coming into effect from April 2016. Even one ‘Lost Dog’ poster or post online renders such a law necessary, let alone the hundreds that appear on lamp posts and bus stops up and down the country, and on social media daily.
The law was made into a Statutory Instrument in the UK in February, 2015, but came into effect April 6th, 2016. It requires that all dogs from the age of 8 weeks must be microchipped, with their ‘keeper’s’ (the legal term for what you might call an owner) contact details saved to their unique Microchip Number. The purpose of this is, quite simply, to help find lost pets. If, you were to lose your dog, then their Microchip Number and your contact details need to be accessible 24/7 by the authorisation who is finding your dog. Having your dog microchipped also means that you, as their ‘keeper’, are liable for the dog and answerable to any of its undesirable exploits (unless it’s a matter of self-defence).
There are many different authorised databases that you can upload your dog too, but Petlog is the UK’s biggest lost and found database for microchipped pets. Their customer services are available 24/7, 365 days a year, so no matter what time of the night on New Year’s Eve your dog goes AWOL, authorities can now be on the case imminently. You can update your details as often as necessary, but you do have to pay a small fee for this to maintain the service level of pet databases. Extra emergency contacts can also be added to guarantee someone will answer to the discovery of a lost dog.
You mustn’t forget to keep your details up to date - you will be fined £500 if you haven’t microchipped your dog by 8 weeks old, or if your details have changed and are not updated within 21 days of receiving an official notice. This is because the law states that a dog is only considered microchipped if 1) it has been implanted with a chip and 2) your current contact details are registered on an approved database.
This act will mean that all dogs can be accounted for at all times, limiting the amount of lost dogs in danger. You will now forever have your dog on a (virtual) lead!