The local Blue Cross animal sanctuary is urging dog owners to get their pets microchipped or risk losing them forever.
Blue Cross in Northiam is warning that thousands of pets admitted to rehoming centres, dog wardens and kennels as strays could in fact be much loved family pets who have become lost.
The leading pet charity is calling for pet owners to act now and get their pet microchipped as without one local authorities and charities cannot reunite pets with their families and are forced to rehome them.
Blue Cross is holding a free microchipping event at its rehoming centre in St Francis Fields on Sunday March 27 from 10am to 2pm.
A third of all dogs – over 2,000 - brought to Blue Cross in 2015 were admitted as ‘strays’ , either from dog pounds or found wandering the streets. Because they weren’t microchipped charity fears they will never know how many are missed by families.
In total, over 70% of all dogs brought to the charity last year for rehoming were not microchipped. From April 6 it will become law for all dogs to be chipped and owners may face a fine if they do not comply.
A pet found straying is the property of the local authority for seven days to give a chance for the owner to come forward, and can only be rehomed after this period. Blue Cross may contact owners who have reported their pet missing if they believe a stray without a microchip they have admitted could be their pet, but the possible owners would then have to prove ownership and perhaps even formally apply to rehome the pet.
Blue Cross Centre Manager Maria Steel said: “While we never know how a pet has become a stray, we see many who are in good health and are really friendly towards people. It suggests many are pets who could be being missed by devastated families. Some dogs have even been trained which means they must have been owned and looked after before they came to us. Without a microchip it is sadly impossible for us to trace their owners and get them home.
“Not only is microchipping your pet vital, it is also important to keep your contact details up to date with your database provider. It doesn’t happen automatically, so if you move home or change your phone number so make sure they always have your latest details.”
For an appointment to get your pet microchipped free of charge, call Blue Cross Northiam on 0300 777 1510. For more information about Blue Cross pets needing homes, the charity’s work, or to make a donation visit www.bluecross.org.uk.
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