Battersea Dogs Home welcomes decision to microchip all dogs
By JulieGK | Thursday, February 07, 2013, 14:30
Battersea Dogs & Cats Home has welcomed the Government decision that all dogs in England must be microchipped by April 2016.
All dogs must be microchipped by 2013.
The ruling gives dog owners more than three years to ensure their dog is chipped, and for some who have experienced the trauma of their dog going missing in the past, today's news is common sense and can't come quick enough.
Battersea cares for around 6,000 of the nation's stray, unwanted and abused dogs every year, taking in everything, no matter what their circumstances, condition or breed.
Less than one third of all dogs arriving at the Home's three centres are chipped and the charity believes today's news that all dogs will need to be chipped, can go a long way towards reducing the problem of strays on our streets.
If a dog has been chipped it is much more likely that Battersea can reunite it with its owner the same day and avoid what can sometimes be a stressful stay in kennels. It is hoped today's announcement will also encourage some dog owners to have a more responsible attitude towards owning a dog.
To help encourage those dog owners who haven't yet got their dogs chipped, Battersea will offer free microchipping at its three centres around London and some other charities will also offer similar support.Claire Horton, Battersea's Chief Executive said: "Battersea warmly welcomes today's Government announcement on microchipping in England as it will make a real difference to the welfare of dogs. It's so worrying for owners when a dog strays from home, yet a tiny microchip the size of a grain of rice means charities like Battersea can often reunite pets with their owners within hours. Having no chip in a dog can mean any reunion can take days to happen, if it happens at all. So we'll help all we can by offering dog owners free chipping."
TV actress Sheridan Smith has first-hand experience of the difference a chip can make, when her Shar-pei went missing in East London.
"My dog Enid went missing three years ago and wasn't chipped. She was taken to Battersea and they were able to reunite us thanks to my posts on twitter. Battersea microchipped Enid for me and now I have peace of mind that should she ever get lost again, I'll get her back quickly and safely. I found out the hard way how important it is to have your pet microchipped, and think compulsory microchipping is a great move and will help so many more dogs find their owners."
As one of the best known charities in the UK, the Home will play its part in helping to explain the many benefits to dog owners in getting their pet chipped. Battersea already provides microchipping services as part of its community engagement initiatives in areas of London with high numbers of stray dogs. Claire Horton anticipates offering free microchipping in these London communities will prove popular. "We will continue to chip for free when working in some of London's most challenging communities but we would like to see a more sustained commitment by the Government for this vital work and much more joined up thinking - with Local Authorities, Housing Associations and community groups all playing their part to get dogs microchipped.