We all hope our own pets will never stray from home and get lost, or even worse be involved in a road accident. We should never assume this won't happen to our own pets. Many stray pets never see their owners again and the uncertainty of knowing whether a lost pet is still alive can be difficult to cope with. Technology in the form of a microchip implant now provides a quick and easy method of identifying your pet. The microchip contains electronic information allowing pet and owner to be quickly reunited in the event of straying. Any pet animal can be fitted with a chip.
The law now requires that puppies first registered after 1st July 2006 must be microchipped with the exception of working dogs.. The chip is about the size of a grain of rice and is easily inserted under your pets skin by an injection. The chip remains in place for life and the pet remains unaware of its presence. A microchip can be painlessly implanted using local anaesthetic at the time of vaccination booster. However, we recommend the most convenient time is when the dog is anesthetized for desexing. While the law states that a microchip must be implanted within two months of registration, Animal Control will give a time extension to allow the microchipping to take place at the time of desexing, which is recommended at 5 – 6 months of age.
Once microchipped your pets unique identification number becomes registered on a national database.
There are two national databases in operation.
One is the national dog database, which all microchipped dogs must be registered with. This is the government run database that Animal Control has access to and being on this database will ensure you become reunited with your pet dog if they become lost. However, vets and the SPCA do not have direct access to this database and in the event of a lost dog being taken to a vet or the SPCA there may be a slight delay in reuniting the pet and owners until Animal Control releases the details.
To overcome this delay an optional database run by the New Zealand Companion Animal Society is in operation. This database is for ALL animals, not just dogs. The advantage of this database is that vets and the SPCA have direct access to owner’s details ensuring there is no delay. For your dog or other pet to be registered on this database, there is a small one off fee.