Losing a much-loved pet can be extremely distressing and aside from when a pet becomes ill it is what fur-parents worry about most. The possibility of never being reunited with their pet!
There are a few ways from the old tried and tested along with some new technology that will increase the likelihood of you being quickly reunited.
- Collar with Identification
- Council Registration
- Electronic NFC Mobile ID Tags
- GPS Tracking Devices
Each plays their own very important part in getting your pooch or puss home safely.
When someone finds a dog or cat, the quickest and easiest way for them to notify the owner is through the identification tag on his collar. Usually one quick call is all that it takes! But what if he slipped his collar? All forms of identification or tracking is now lost. That is where the microchip comes into play because it is permanently “on” your pet.
But wait, there is no point having any or all of these in place if your contact details are out of date or not even registered!
It is pretty obvious what you need to do to update your pet’s id tag and relatively straight forward with council, but do you know how to update your pet’s microchip?
What is a microchip?
A microchip is a permanent method of electronic identification. The chip itself is very small – about the size of a grain of rice – and is implanted just under the skin, between the shoulder blades at the back of your pet’s neck. Only a veterinarian or authorised person can perform this procedure.
The microchip’s unique number is recorded on one of 6 database registry with details about the animal and owner. Should your pet stray or become lost, vets, animal shelters and local councils can scan your pet for a microchip and check the central database “Pet Address” that holds the details of which database registry your pet is recorded.
Who Are The Microchip Registries In Australia?
Currently there are 6 private microchip registries and 1 NSW State Government registry:
- Central Animal Records
- National Pet Register
- Australasian Animal Registry
- Global Micro Animal Registry
- and the NSW State Government Registry – the NSW Companion Animal Registry
Community News Update: From 10PM on the 21st of April, 2017 all data and pet records previously located in the National Pet Register (NPR) database will be managed by Central Animal Records (CAR). Please log onto the CAR website and create a new account OR use the same login details you had previously with NPR to ensure that your pets details have been transferred over correctly.
Is Microchipping Mandatory?
At the present time;
Microchipping for cats and dogs is mandatory in ACT, NSW, QLD, VIC & WA.
Microchipping for dogs only is compulsory in TAS.
What If My Pet Is Not Microchipped?
Ideally your cat or dog should be microchipped prior to purchasing or adoption. However, if your pet is not yet microchipped then we recommend you make an appointment to do so with your vet. Regardless if microchipping is not mandatory in your state, it is still recommended you microchip in case you’re pet goes missing when travelling interstate or is re-homed.
How Do I Update My Details?
It is very important to keep your contact details up to date on the database so that if you move house or change your phone number you will still be contactable if your pet becomes lost. If your details are out of date and the pound is unable to locate you, your pet will be placed up for adoption or euthanized.
If you purchased your pet through a shelter or registered breeder they should have completed a “Change in Ownership” form. This changes the new ownership details into your name. Just contact the microchip register your pet is recorded to adjust your contact details as necessary.
If you obtained your new pet through a classified ad online or in the paper you may not have completed any paperwork to change ownership details? If you don’t know your pets microchip number contact your veterinarian, council or animal welfare shelter who can scan your pet and supply you with the microchip number. You can then go to the central database “Pet Address” to find out which microchip company your pet’s details are recorded.
If the microchip is currently registered, you will need to complete a “Change of Ownership” form. The form is easily located on the relevant microchip registry websites.
Note: If you obtained your pet through unique circumstances, such as the previous owner passed away and you were given the animal. You should also complete a “Statutory Declaration” which is a legal document declaring something to be true, such as the circumstances of how you obtained the animal and that it is now yours. (If you intentionally make a false statement in a declaration, you can be charged with an offence.)
If the microchip can not be located, you will need to contact one of the microchip companies directly to have your details registered and linked to his microchip.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION: If you’re pet is currently or was previously located in NSW his details may only be registered with the “NSW Companion Animal Registry”. Their registry is also lifetime, however, do not record details on the central database. This means if you’re pet goes missing in another state they will not be able to locate you! To ensure this does not happen both registries need to be updated by:
- Completing a NSW Companion Animals Register ‘Change of Owner’ form AND
- Contacting one of the 6 National Microchip Registries to have your pet’s details recorded country wide
(don’t forget to do that microchip check first just to be sure he is not already registered)
Some Sad Truths Must Be Told
Unfortunately, at the time of writing this article, in Australia there is a law that has been in place for 10 years making it illegal for a 3rd party such as veterinary practice or shelter to reunite a found pet with their family directly, even if the owners’ details can obtained through a microchip. All animals found must be surrendered to the local pound for processing, failure to do so could result in a hefty fine. Surprised? Me too!
Surely you would have thought the purpose of microchipping would be to have a pet reunited with his family as soon as possible? This seems like a more time effective and kinder approach rather than needlessly filling up pounds with pets that already have home’s to go back to.
This law needs to be changed! Until this happens, we convey a mammoth “Thank You” to all of those wonderful and caring veterinarians and shelters that continue to snub their noses at this clearly ridicules and utterly out of date law. It is for you that no doubt many much beloved pets have been reunited with their distressed fur-parents!
Author Bio: Nikki is pack leader at Pressplay Pets, a blog for the modern age pet parent interested in health & care, news, reviews & personal accounts of unconditional love & at times heartfelt pain of pet parenting. She is also proud mum to cute and cheeky Papillons ‘Amber’ and ‘Indy’ and one crazy Rainbow Lorikeet named ‘Ralph’! Follow my Facebook and Twitter
Pressplay Pets a blog for the modern age pet parent interested in health & care, news, reviews & personal accounts of unconditional love & at times heartfelt pain of pet parenting!