Tilly is a one year old cross bred Chihuahua

THIS STORY IS FROM OUR ARCHIVES

Since September 2015, it has been the law in Ireland that all new puppies must be microchipped and registered before they are sold. If anyone tries to sell (or give) you a puppy without including an official microchip registration certificate, they are breaking the law, and could be fined and/or prosecuted.

John took Tilly on as a young rescued dog last summer, before the new regulations were in place, so she was never microchipped. However he had heard on the radio that another important date was coming up: from this week (31st  March), every dog in the country over 12 weeks of age must be microchipped and registered on an official database. John was not absolutely certain that Tilly was not microchipped, so he brought her to me to be checked. I scanned her, and confirmed that there was no microchip. And I confirmed that yes, she needed to be done before 31st March, and John brought her to me for this to be carried out.

TILLY HAD A MICROCHIP IMPLANTED

Tilly is a tiny dog, weighing less than a cat. For such a little animal, the microchip needle is relatively large, and John worried that it might hurt her. The truth is that although the needle does look big, it’s extremely sharp, so it usually slips smoothly and easily into the skin in the scruff of the neck. John held Tilly while I inserted the microchip, and  within seconds, it was all over. Tilly had barely noticed while the act was carried out.

Once the chip had been implanted, the next stage was registration of her details on the database. There’s a special form, with around twenty fields that need to be completed, including John’s contact details, a description of Tilly, and my own details as an official microchip implanter. I needed to view documents, including John’s photo ID and a utility bill to prove his place of residence. I was then able to sign off on the form, and send it to the official database. John will receive an official microchip certificate in the post over the coming weeks. He’ll need to store this in a safe place – like a motor vehicle’s registration certificate – and he may be asked to show this from time to time by officialdom.

With the new regulations, ownership of dogs in Ireland has become more of a responsibility: everyone is now obliged to have an official certificate proving that their dog is microchipped.  This is a useful step forwards for animal welfare: the incidence of lost dogs is likely to plummet, as every dog that ends up in the local dog pound should now be microchipped and traceable to their owner. It’s hoped that this in turn will lead to a sharp reduction in the number of dogs that are euthanased in Irish dog pounds because their owner cannot be located.

Is your dog microchipped and registered? If you’re not sure,  if you know your dog’s microchip number, you can check if it is registered properly at www.chipcheck.ie. And if your dog is not microchipped, it’s time to get it done now. If you don’t, you’re breaking the law, and you could be fined.

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