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The Afternoon Show
The Afternoon ShowRTÉ One, Weekdays, 4.00pm

Vet's Clinic with Liam Moriarty

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Why are so many lost pets never returned to their owners?
. ID problems - no microchip OR microchip but incorrect owner details - a massive problem
. No. of stray pets is huge - therefore pets get lost in the system
. Theft
. People taking in stray pets with good intentions

What should you do if you have lost your pet?
. Act quickly - time is of the essence, the recovery rate declines rapidly after 48 hours
. Contact the dog warden/local pound and continue to do so.
. Contact your local veterinary clinics
. Advertise for your pet
. If pet has microchip - check that registration details are correct.

What should you do if you find a pet?
. Bring it to your local vet clinic
. Have them scan it for a microchip - they will do this free of charge
. If it has a registered microchip vet should be able to track owner
. If it doesn't have a chip - it may need to go to a local shelter. I will speak a little about South Dublin county council pound which is our local pound.

What if you have pet that has a microchip but you are not sure if it is registered?
. Get your vet to check it for you at your next visit
. will check it for you for free - if it is not registered they will register your pet's microchip for a small fee.

How much does it cost to have your pet microchipped?

Under legislation microchip is considered an "act of veterinary medicine" it can only legally be carried out by a veterinary surgeon or a veterinary nurse. I am legally prohibited from mentioning my fees in this context by veterinary legislation. All I can say it is not a very expensive procedure, once it has been done it is there for life. The most important point is to make sure that the microchip details are correctly registered - a cheap chip without registration is useless.

Microchip - only half the battle, the microchip must be registered to a reliable national database.

Collar with an id tag for both dogs and cats - can be problematic in cats who often shed their collars.

Microchip is inexpensive safe, quick and relatively painless and permanently identifies pet. Once a microchip is implanted it will not cannot be lost or removed, unlike a collar or a tag - it is there for life.

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