Police Help Pet Owners Keep Track Of Their Animals

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Police Help Pet Owners Keep Track Of Their Animals

'Cheltenham Road East's Safer Community Team are teaming up with Cheltenham Animal Shelter to help pet lovers avoid being parted from their 'best friend'.

Every year, officers discover dozens of dogs and many of them end up having to be re-homed, as their owner can't be traced. Even in cases where pets and owners are reunited, there can be long delays and lots of heartache before the happy ending. The owner may also have to pay a fee before being handed back their animal if it has had to be taken into shelter or dog warden care.

The SCT and Shelter staff are therefore encouraging pet owners to get their animals microchipped and have organised sessions in Cheltenham and Brockworth on Sunday February 18th where this can be done for a very reduced price, instead of the usual £25-00 it will only cost £8-00.

Rapid UK, the search and rescue team based in Quedgeley in Gloucester attends disaster zones throughout the world. They are supporting the event and will be there with their search and rescue dogs.

Andy Harris Is from Rapid UK, he said; "It is essential all our dogs are microchipped so we can ensure their safe return if they go missing. We spend months training these animals to undertake life-saving tasks, it would be a tragedy if any of them were lost and an even bigger tragedy if the police or whoever found them were unable to reunite them with us.

We are supporting this event, as it is essential for animals to be microchipped. All our dogs are but it is not just something for working animals. All family pets are treasured and a microchip means they can be easily identified."

More reliable than collars and tags which can easily become detached and lost, microchips, which are about the size of a grain of rice, contain a unique ID code and are injected under the pet's skin in a process which is no more stressful or painful than a routine vaccination. If the animal gets lost and is found by police, a scanner kept in police station receptions will read the chip and instantly reveal who the owner is so the dog can be returned.

PC Sarah Ward from Cheltenham Road East's SCT is coordinating the event, she said; "We have run sessions like this before which have proved a huge success and we would urge anyone who hasn't had their pet chipped yet to come along. Last year the police and animal shelter had 800 dogs handed in and only 22 of these were chipped which means many owners won't have got their pet back at all and others will have had a lot of expense and hassle before being reunited.

If we can't identify the owner of a dog we have to hand it over to the dog wardens and there's a minimum charge of £25 to get it back from them. Out of hours, the animals have to go to the Animal Shelter and they look for new homes for those, which haven't been claimed in seven days.

If people get their pets chipped, we can scan them and return them instantly saving lots of heartache for both the owner and animal. Microchipping can also prove really helpful if an animal is stolen as we can prove it is stolen property rather than having to take someone's word that it belongs to them."

These sessions are not just for dogs, the Shelter experts can microchip anything from a rabbit to a horse.

The microchipping sessions are being held on Sunday February 18th at Tesco's in Brockworth from 10am till 1pm and at Pets At Home in the Gallagher Retail Park in Cheltenham from 2pm until 4pm.

The fee, payable in cash or by cheque, is £8 and for this a veterinary nurse will also give your pet a health check.

Posted : 08/02/2007 02:18:07

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