Microchipping is now required in all dogs. A microchip is a minute, electronic device that is inserted by injection into the back of the neck, just forward of the shoulder blades.
These microchips can be detected electronically, by passing a specialised scanner over the dog. Each microchip has its own unique number and this number can be detected and read by the scanner allowing confirmation of a dog’s identity.
Obviously this is used by dog control officers in administering the dog control laws, but it has advantages in the fast identity of lost or injured animals. Vet clinics and welfare organisations such as the SPCA possess these scanners to quickly trace lost pets back to their owners.
This is where the Companion Animal Register is of importance. Vet clinics do not have access to the details of a dogs registration with the council but we do have access to the Companion Animal Register where owner details are available to us in the case of a missing pet. It is important to ensure that your microchipped pet is on this register as this is not related to the council registration and is not necessarily done automatically when your pet is microchipped.
Microchipping has obvious benefits for lost cats as well because all cats that turn up at the SPCA or vet clinics are scanned, in case their thoughtful owners have had them microchipped. We have several stories of cats from this practice that have promptly being identified in another part of Auckland and returned to their owner, simply because they had a microchip.
A common time for us to implant these chips is at neutering time when these patients are under anaesthesia, but anaethesia is not required to do this.