It is a common occurrence to hear of dogs being lost or stolen. This can be traumatic for the family and can put the dog in great harm. There are a few easy steps that may not stop your dog being taken or lost but will aid his safe return.
Collar and tag
It is a legal requirement under the Control of Dogs Act 1992 that every dog when in a public place must be wearing a collar with the details of his owner inscribed wither on the collar or attached on a tag. Failure to do so means that the owner could be liable to prosecution and a fine of up to £2,000.
Be careful what words you heave inscribed on the tag. By showing your address it may alert unscrupulous people to the fact that your home is empty while you are out walking the dog. A telephone number is sensible and if your dogged has been micro chipped add the words, ‘Scan my chip.’ Dogs are often stolen then used for breeding before being discarded when they are no longer needed. If your dog is neutered why not add the words, ‘I am neutered.’ Although many people do add their pet’s name to the tag it can be debatable as to whether this is a good idea. If it comes to proving ownership it is best if the person who took your dog does not know its given name. Instead add the owners family name.
Micro chipping is done by inserting a small chip the size of a grain of rice under the skin of the dog in the area of his shoulder. This microchip has a unique number that matches information of the dog’s official owner. If a dog needs to be identified a small hand held scanner is moved over the dog and the details are shown on the scanner. Veterinary surgeries, police and rescues centres should always scan a dog if there is doubt to its ownership or it has been handed in as lost.
Where to Get a Dog Chipped
Veterinary surgeons will microchip a dog and advertisements can be found in canine publications for reputable people who carry put this service. Sometimes there will be special micro chipping days organised by canine charities where free chipping is available for those owners who are not able to pay for their dog to be chipped. Those owners belonging to dog clubs may also find that there will be a person who attend club events and can offer an on the spot service.
Other Forms of Identification
It is not a legal requirement to microchip a dog but this form of identification is becoming more popular. Tattoos are also a recognised form of identification and owner’s information is stored in the same way as the microchip service. Dogs are most commonly tattooed inside their ear.
Always remember that if you move home your details should be updated with the holder of your microchip or tattoo records. Too often a dog’s reunion is delayed because the owner has moved house.
A Final Tip
Keep a record of your dog’s identity records along with updated photographs. Show a full body view from both sides, a head study and any unusual markings. This may aid his recovery if he is stolen or lost.