Not enough dogs have been microchipped since the compulsory law came into affect one year ago, claims Battersea Dogs & Cats Home.
The charity revealed that almost half the strays that come through its doors are still unchipped.
Today (6 April), on the anniversary since compulsory microchipping was introduced, the charity has released photos of some of the many stray dogs that came into its centres without microchips and were found new homes.
Since 6 April 2016, when the law was introduced, the charity has taken in 934 stray dogs across its three sites in London, Windsor and Kent. Many are taken in from Local Authorities, while others are brought in by worried members of the public.
Of these, just 480 were microchipped – a rise of almost ten per cent year-on-year from April 2015 but still not enough.
While a dog that is chipped is almost twice as likely to be claimed as one that is not chipped, the chip must be kept up to date with their owner’s contact details – failure to do so means Local Authorities and animal shelters are still unable to trace the previous owners.
Of all microchipped strays brought in to Battersea since the law was introduced, only 44 percent were reunited with their owners.
Battersea’s deputy chief executive, Peter Laurie, said: “The pictures show 12 other lovely stray dogs, like Pandora, that have come into our care with no way of tracing their owners. Luckily, we found loving new homes for all these dogs, but we continue to see the consequences of owners failing to chip their animals.
“It’s encouraging to see that more of the strays that come to Battersea are microchipped but there are still so many who aren’t. A microchip is the size of a grain of rice and is totally painless for an animal – there just isn’t a good reason not to get it done, especially now it’s been law for a year.
“By making a decision not to chip their pet or not keeping the chip’s details updated, the owner is gambling that their dog will never go missing. Unfortunately, dogs run away, escape and get stolen – it’s not worth the risk. It’s a simple procedure that could save both you and your pet from weeks of misery and distress.”
Battersea chips every animal in its care and offers free microchipping to all dog owners at its three sites.