More than a chip…a view from StreetVet
The human-animal bond is immeasurable to many pet owners. But for people who have been made homeless, their dog is their best friend, their confidant and often the centre of their universe. To lose their companion through any circumstance would be truly heartbreaking. StreetVet is a charity that works tirelessly to protect that human-animal bond. The volunteer vets and vet nurses support homeless pet owners to keep their pets healthy and well cared for. StreetVet believes that through educating and promoting responsible pet ownership, not only do the dogs benefit, but the owners show reduced anxiety, increased confidence and an enhanced sense of purpose and self worth. In recognition of StreetVet’s important work, Animalcare supports the charity with identichip® microchips for all their patients.
Since April 2016 it is a legal requirement that all dogs in the UK are microchipped. Keepers of dogs that are not chipped can face a fine of up to £500, but also risk not being reunited with their dog if they were to go missing. Additionally, it is required that each chip is registered on a government approved pet database, and contact details for the keeper are always kept up to date. So far StreetVet estimate that they have implanted over 100 microchips and have updated numerous contact details on the identibase® pet database. With the help of other homeless organisations, StreetVet has been able to register dogs to owners of no fixed abode and with no contact phone numbers. This proved a critical factor in reuniting an elderly pug and her owner in Brighton when she went astray one night. Her chip was thankfully registered to StreetVet, who worked with the local street kitchen to get word to the owner that she had been found safe and sound.
In many cases it takes time for owners to trust StreetVet volunteers to handle and treat their dogs. Some dogs and their owners have had traumatic experiences and are extremely nervous around new people. When Franky escaped whilst a friend was caring for him, he was taken into a local practice by a kind member of the public. Franky is a very anxious dog and at the time had not been microchipped. Luckily his photo reached the local StreetVet team who recognised him instantly and contacted his owner. Before Franky was returned to his owner, the team gained permission to implant a microchip. His owner was extremely relieved to get him back and to know he had finally been chipped.
Jade from StreetVet adds “We are extremely grateful for the invaluable support of Animalcare and we look forward to continuing to working together to ensure that all the dogs we see are microchipped and easily reunited with their owner should they ever go missing.”