Microchips: purrfect solution to finding missing pets

April 3, 2024

Microchips: purrfect solution to finding missing pets

Dog enjoying the park with pet owner. Photo: Fayzah Mohamed

Pets go missing every year in New Zealand for a variety of reasons and microchips can help owners find them.

The number of pets that go missing each year in New Zealand is untraceable because some owners do not alert local vets or animal shelters.

SPCA national desexing programme manager Rebecca Dobson says the two main causes for pets going missing are mating and loud noises.

“Not getting pets desexed means they can wander a lot further to try and seek mates. We find that cats often become injured at night when they’re out wandering or they’re fighting with other cats, or they’re wandering and might get hit by cars.

“Fireworks can frighten animals and they can become lost. We recommend that when fireworks happen, people keep their pets inside and put on the TV to keep the loud noises from frightening them too much.”

When lost pets are taken to the SPCA, they are checked to see if they have a microchip or key identifiers that can help them to be reunited with their owners.

If there are no key identifiers or microchips on the pet, they are advertised for seven days on New Zealand Companion Animals Register (NZCAR) before being rehomed.

In late 2023, two national influential databases of lost and found pet services, lostpet.co.nz and NZCAR, merged to make it faster to find pets, microchipped or not.

Companion Animal New Zealand general manager David Lloyd says that this registry enables missing pets that are microchipped to be found faster.

“Microchipping creates benefits for animals primarily because they can be registered with their microchip number on databases that helps them get home faster and that means that the animals aren’t as stressed, and they’re safer.

“They’re at less risk of being sick or injured as they’re microchipped because they get home more quickly.”

Despite the benefits of microchipping pets, they must be registered to a database like Companion Animal Register to be found with updated contact information.

“We have an issue with the Companion Register where animals are microchipped and registered, but they haven’t kept their details up to date and so when the animals are found, we can’t get a hold of those people.”

Since the establishment of Companion Animals Register in 2007, there have been approximately 1.3 million animals registered.

Listen here for more about the benefits of microchipping pets.

Waterfront businesses suffering after bridge closure cuts off pedestrians

Waterfront businesses suffering after bridge closure cuts off pedestrians

Vivek Panchal April 11, 2024

An entire musical - in just 48 hrs

An entire musical - in just 48 hrs

Brodie Hunter April 11, 2024

Never mind 5-a-day - just one more veggie could make a difference

Never mind 5-a-day - just one more veggie could make a difference

Ryan Bos April 11, 2024