Outdated dog chip could prove fatal

Hundreds of dogs risk never being reunited with their owner and put to sleep as their microchip details are out of date
Hundreds of dogs risk never being reunited with their owner and put to sleep as their microchip details are out of date

Wigan dog owners are being urged to get their pet’s microchip details updated after a strays survey revealed that 181 nationally go missing every day.

Research by the Dogs Trust shows the lowest numbers of strays - 66,277 - were picked up by local authorities nationally since data collection started 20 years ago, thanks to the introduction of compulsory chipping last year.

Yet despite the number of strays in the North West also falling by 17 per cent, the trust found that of the 480 reported as being chipped but not reunited with their owner, in 341 cases (71 per cent) this was due to out-of-date contact details on the chip. Many of these risked the threat of being put to sleep by local authorities.

The charity suspects these dogs may be family pets which have, sadly, ended up permanently separated from families because their owners moved house or changed phone number, and neglected to contact the microchip database to update their contact details on their dog’s chip.

Dogs Trust Merseyside manager Georgina Lowery said: “This year’s stray dog survey is a double-edged sword. While showing the number of strays has fallen and nationally there has been the greatest reduction in stray numbers since records began, the findings also demonstrate that owners are failing to follow the law when it comes to ensuring the details on the microchip are up-to-date and that they wear a collar and tag.”

Trust research worryingly revealed that only one in four people know to contact the local dog warden if they find a stray dog. To highlight the issue, it took to the streets with its own “stray”, actor Henry, as he approached members of the public to help guide him home.

To watch his journey visit www.dogstrust.org.uk/straydogsurvey.