In the olden days, the only way of identifying the owner of a dog or cat was to hope that it was wearing a collar with its address on it so it could be safely returned if it happened to get lost.
These days, the invention of the system of micro-chipping has meant that the return of a lost pet is more likely. The tiny implant, about the size of a grain of rice is inserted painlessly in the animal and the owners’ details are then recorded on a register. With the aid of a hand held scanner, rather like the ones used at some store checkouts, animals can be easily identified.
When we adopted our dog from the rescue centre, she was chipped and our details were recorded. Indeed, if you wish to take an animal abroad from the UK it has to be micro-chipped in order to have a pet passport .
It is a legal requirement though, even for a micro-chipped dog to wear a collar with its owners’ name and address on it. Some people put the pet’s name on there, too, but that is not necessary, (and indeed might be a bad idea in areas where animals get stolen)
We were discussing the merits of micro-chipping the other day, and someone who was clearly not familiar with the system said:
“Oh, I see, you just telephone the micro-chip number and a bell rings in the dog, and you can hear it and follow the sound! That’s a good idea isn’t it?”
Well it’s another slant on a good idea…