Five years’ worth of missing pet data shows a 63 percent increase in pets being reported as missing or stolen during June, July and August, compared to the winter months of December, January and February. Last year alone, Petlog, which is run by not-for-profit organisation The Kennel Club, saw 81 percent more pets reported as lost or stolen during summer 2021 compared to winter, as COVID-19 restrictions lifted.
While many of these pets will have been reunited and returned home due to their microchip, Petlog is urging owners to check that their details are up to date with their provider and to be aware of additional security considerations during the summer holidays. The organisation, which reunites lost and found pets and is behind National Microchipping Month, hopes to raise awareness of the importance of this throughout June and keep more of the UK’s much-loved pets safe.
“We aren’t surprised that more pets go missing during summer,” commented Bill Lambert, Petlog spokesperson. “Routines change, children are home for the holidays, owners go away or abroad, and we’re spending more time out and about in gardens, parks and perhaps exploring new and less familiar outdoor spaces. However, it is crucial that owners ensure their pets are safe; microchipping your pet and registering them on a 24/7 reunification database like Petlog, which holds a keeper’s address and phone number, is such a simple step to take but can genuinely be a life-saver, and gives peace of mind.
“This National Microchipping Month, we want to get more pets microchipped and more owners checking their details are up to date, so if the worst were to happen, and as the likelihood increases during the summer, you have the best chance of being reunited with your furry family member.”
A microchip is the size of a grain of rice which is inserted under the skin at the back of an animal’s neck. It permanently identifies pets and connects them with an owner’s contact details, which are held on a database like Petlog, enabling vets, local authorities and animal charities to scan the chip, match it to the owner’s details and reunite lost and found pets if the worst happens. Of course, microchipping can only work effectively if an owner’s contact details are up to date with a database.
Tommy, a nine-year-old cat microchipped with Petlog, went missing in summer 2017. Despite the period of time, and Tommy’s owners moving house, they were reunited five years later thanks to his microchip and the up-to-date contact details listed on Petlog. Tommy’s owner, Sheena Hughes, from Oldham in Lancashire, said: “I never gave up hope, waiting for that call for nearly five years, and it finally came. I’m so glad my boy is back home along with his family, we have missed him so much.
“As soon as Tommy went missing I logged it with Petlog, and also alerted them when I moved house three years ago. It is so important to keep your Petlog details up to date, as you just never know, and thank goodness I did.
“I’d like to thank all of the ‘it’s all about the animals’ volunteers who scanned and reunited us with Tommy. They do incredible work and I’m forever grateful. I hope our story helps other owners realise how important it is to have your pet chipped and details updated.”
Currently, it’s a legal requirement for dogs to be microchipped in England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland. The Government has also recently announced that microchipping is set to become compulsory for cats in England, with pet experts urging those who own cats to chip their pets sooner rather than later, to keep them safe and so they are prepared for the change in laws. There’s currently no legal requirement to microchip other pets, but experts like Petlog strongly advise it.
Alongside microchipping, Petlog is advising owners to make sure their pet is secure this summer. Bill added: “Prevention is the best cure. Owners should ensure gardens and homes are secure and that they’re taking all possible steps to keep their pet safe during any holidays, with children or visitors around and routines changing, or during time away from home, including making sure your pet can be identified.
“If you’re going abroad, it’s also worth updating your holiday details on your pet’s microchip record before you travel – Petlog for example is a member of the European Pet Network so can still help to reunite holidaying owners and pets should the worst happen and they go missing abroad.”
For further expert advice about keeping your pet safe this National Microchipping Month, or for information about microchipping and how to register with Petlog, visit the website.