SPCA Otago animal manager Grace Hepburn prepares to
microchip American Staffordshire cross Neisha in Dunedin
yesterday. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
Microchipped pets are having extended stays in shelters
because their owners have failed to log their animals on to a
national register, SPCA Otago executive officer Sophie
Ms McSkimming said microchipped pets that were not registered
on the New Zealand Companion Animal Register were being
brought to the SPCA's North Dunedin shelter.
A cat owner, who was reunited with his missing microchipped
cat on Monday, had not logged it on the register, which had
delayed the pet's return home, she said.
After an animal was microchipped, vets could register pets on
databases that the SPCA could not access, whereas the
national register was accessible to anyone, she said.
''It would be good if there was one database.''
When dogs were microchipped, their details were not recorded
on any databases until they was registered with the relevant
Once dogs were registered at the council, their details were
placed on a national council database, which was not
available to vets or the SPCA.
The council database was an enforcement, rather than
If a dog owner placed their pet's details on the national
register, the SPCA could then contact the owner directly
without involving the council, Ms McSkimming said.
New Zealand Companion Animal Register manager Nygllhuw Morris
said the resister started about seven years ago and was used
by 97% of vets.
The register of 280,000 ''companion animals'' - which
includes microchipped cats, dogs, goats, ferrets and horses -
was set up ''purely to get animals home''.
After the Canterbury earthquakes in 2010 and 2011, register
staff had reunited most non-chipped pets with their owners
within one or two weeks, while 85% of microchipped pets were
returned to owners within 12 hours.
''It's a very effective tool, but it's only effective if you
microchip and register. If you just stick the microchip in
there and don't record it anywhere, it is a complete waste of
time,'' Mr Morris said.
Animals can be registered for $15. Details at www.animalregister.co.nz