The news this week has been dominated by the controversy of the Same Sex Marriage Bill wending its way through parliament – while a huge change in doggie law got very few headlines.
If it goes ahead, all dogs in Britain will have to be micro-chipped by 2016 or owners could face huge fines. (Free chipping will be on offer for owners who need it thanks to the the Dogs’ Trust and other charities).
This sounds great in principle because at the moment so many lost dogs never get reunited with their owners because they haven’t been chipped. If they stray a long way from home – or worse are stolen and then dumped – no-one knows where they belong.
But many dogs are “lost” because that is just what their owner intended. Pups that chew up the house, unwanted Christmas surprises, owners who have fallen on hard times – there are many reasons why dogs are thrown out and left to fend for themselves. It is very sad but usually they are picked up by a council dog warden and often, they at least get the chance of a new and better home after being adopted at the pound.
Since most are unchipped, their owners feel secure in the knowledge that the animal won’t be returned but if by law the dog was chipped, what would happen then if the owner didn’t want it any longer?
Chipping will certainly work for genuine lost dogs but what about the others? Will an owner make a trip to the pound with the unwanted pet to explain the dog needs a new home – or will the dog’s story end very differently?