In our veterinary practice we are continually faced with the problem of trying to track down the owners of stray pets. These animals are brought in to us because they have strayed, or they may have been injured in a motor vehicle accident or in an attack from another animal.
Cats in particular often do not wear collars and physical descriptions relying on cat colour types can often be confusing. In the case of dogs who wear collars, the collar may have been removed or the engraving on a tag can become worn and illegible.
In NSW it has been compulsory since 1999 that all dogs and cats be microchipped. The one-off lifetime Council registration system requires that all animals must be microchipped prior to registration.
A microchip is the size of a grain of rice. It is inserted under the skin in the area between the shoulders.
The microchip contains a unique unalterable identification number, usually 10-15 digits long. This number is recorded on a central integrated database along with your name, address and contact numbers.
If your dog or cat is found as a stray, the number is read from the inserted microchip via a hand-held electronic scanner. Your contact details can then be obtained, so you can be reunited with your pet in a timely manner.
Experience has shown that the two major reasons why owners are not reunited with microchipped pets are because the animal and microchip details were never recorded with a registry or the owner failed to notify the registry when they changed address and contact numbers.
What to Do if Your Details Change
Microchips are only effective if you keep your contact or ownership details up to date.
At Gladesville Veterinary Hospital we will register your pet for you with the NSW Companion Animal Register (CAR). The CAR is a legal requirement, and in addition we register you with the Petsafe Register – a national 24 hour on-line register (as the CAR is not always accessible). You will be sent a Petsafe certificate with your unique password.
If you think your or your secondary contact persons details may have changed, we can provide you with the forms to update the NSW Companion Animal Register.
You can also download them at www.olg.nsw.gov.au via ‘Be a Responsible Pet Owner>’, ‘Forms – FAQs – How To’, ‘Change of Owners Details C3A’.
The Petsafe Register can be updated easily on-line at www.petsafe.com.au.
If you are unable to find your pet’s microchip number, you can contact our receptionists and they will look up your file (as long as the number has been recorded in our computer).
If you are unsure if the microchip number is recorded just ask the receptionists to check next time you are visiting the practice.
Claim Your Pet with the Office of Local Government Pet Registry
Step 1 – Create your Pet Registry Account
Step 2 – Claim Your Pet
Next Step – Pay Your Lifetime Registration