A few weeks ago I received what I call a round robin e-mail encouraging all its readers to press government ministers and M.P,’s to support a suggestion apparently being put forward by the Dog’s Trust that it should be a legal requirement that all dogs should be micro-chipped. This got me thinking about the whole issue of dog ownership.
Under current legislation every dog must have a disc attached to its collar with its details on, but as I am sure many a dog warden could testify most of the stray dogs they pick up do not have such I.D. Ideally the disc should bear the owners name, address and mobile number and on the reverse side the name and telephone number of your Vet. Many of you will be saying to yourselves “he has not mentioned the Dog’s name”. Quite right, and deliberately so, because if the disc bears the dogs name and some unscrupulous person finds your dog they can call it by the name on the collar and the dog will go with them and you have lost your dog forever.
It really comes down to what is the role of your dog in your household. Is it a much loved member of the family, or some kind of accessory like say a ladies handbag, or does it enhance the gentleman’s image i.e. is it butch enough? If it is the former then if the dog wandered off the family would be distraught over its disappearance so micro-chipping makes good sense. Once found by the wardens or the police it can be scanned and reunited with its overjoyed family in hours. If not it ends up in strays kennels and after seven days if it has not been claimed it is put to sleep. Thank God for rescues like Dogs Trust who never put a healthy animal to sleep.
The strays kennel have no incentive to help find the owner as under current rules if the animal is claimed then a fee is payable to them if it ends up being put to sleep the local authority pays them a fee, and in fairness to strays kennels, they cannot expand to take in the ever-increasing number of strays.
So in conclusion I would suggest that micro-chipping is a first class idea but one question remains – How would it be enforced if it became law? However this blog is not the place for me to get on my soapbox about how I think legislation concerning dogs needs to be improved or this blog would not be five paragraphs long but probably five pages!!