Monday, March 28, 2016

UK Mandates Canine Micro-Chipping; Penalties up to $750

At first I thought this was an April Fool. But, on the other side of the Pond, our British cousins are taking No Lost Dogs to a whole new level.  Mandatory micro-chipping becomes law on April 6, 2016  Fines up to $750 will be enforced by police and/or city employees.   The British parliament concluded the micro-chipping  is both humane and cost effective.  Of course, given Americans' natural distaste for anything "mandatory," and instinctive aversion to tracking technology in general, its difficult to imagine a federal mandate. But surely we cant be too far away from some progressive town or county from taking the plunge!

Here's the full story from Britain's Daily Mirror

Dog microchipping becomes compulsory next week - everything animal owners need to know

The new law creating a national canine database comes into force on April 6 but an estimated 1.4 million of the UK's 9m dogs are yet to be chipped

It was once enough to have your dog’s name engraved on its collar.

Not any more. From next week all pet pooches have to be microchipped .

The new law, which comes into force on April 6, will create a central database listing every dog in the UK.

There are an estimated 9  million dogs in the UK, with up to 1.4million yet to be microchipped.

If you have not yet had your pet chipped, here is everything you need to know...

What does a microchip do?
The sterile microchip is roughly the size of a grain of rice and is implanted just under your dog’s skin between its shoulder blades.

Each chip contains a unique identification number that is listed on a national database which holds all the owner’s contact details such as their address and phone number.

If a dog is lost or dumped, a warden will be able to scan the chip and find the owner’s details immediately.

Lee Paris, campaigns manager at charity the Dogs Trust, says: “Having a dog microchipped should give owners peace of mind, because all dogs have the capacity to escape, no matter how responsible the owner is. This will make it much easier to reunite worried owners with their pets.”

Microchips have been a legal requirement in Northern Ireland since 2012, now England, Scotland and Wales are set to follow suit.

Why are microchips a legal requirement?
Nearly 120,000 dogs are dumped or lost each year and less than half of those are reunited with their owners.

That leaves local councils and animal welfare charities facing a £57 million bill to care for and re-home these unfortunate animals. And nearly 7,000 dogs have to be put down each year because no-one can care for them.

Lee says: “The Dogs Trust and other charities are full to the brim. If we can’t take a dog from a local authority after seven days, they have to be put to sleep.

Read more : Dog owner sues family who found and decided to KEEP her missing pedigree pooch

“The microchips could make a huge difference. If local councils can trace the owners within a day, it means we can focus on re-homing dogs that people are genuinely unable to care for any longer and are handed over responsibly.”

Microchipping will also combat the black market in stolen dogs, which is worth more than £100,000 a year in the UK. And it will help police prosecute the owners of dangerous dogs and make things harder for traffickers smuggling dogs into the country and bypassing strict quarantine laws.

Chips are the size of a grain of rice.

What if I don’t get my dog microchipped by April 6?
You will be breaking the law. If you are stopped by a council or police officer and they discover your dog is not chipped you will be given an enforcement notice, giving you 21 days to comply with the law.

Fail to do so and you face a fine of up to £500. ($750)

Lee says: “You can’t drive without a licence and it will be a similar situation for dog owners. It will be your responsibility to make sure your pet is microchipped. ”

How can I get my dog microchipped?
Any vet will be able to do it. They normally charge £20 to £30. Local authorities can also fit a chip. Some do this for free, others charge a small fee.

The Dogs Trust has volunteered to fit microchips at its re-homing centres and community events before April 6.

The charity has now fitted nearly a million microchips, most since the new law was announced three years ago.

Lee says: “This month has definitely been the busiest we have seen for chipping pets as a lot of people have left it late to comply with the new law.

“We have a website with an interactive map to help people finding their nearest re-homing centre or community event.”

What impact will it have on my dog?
Some dogs who are nervous about visiting the vet may get a little stressed, but having a microchip implanted does not hurt.

It is no different to having an injection. Vets are used to chipping much smaller animals than dogs, but if you do have a small breed and are concerned, you can opt for a mini microchip.

Lee says: “I’m a squeamish person, but I’ve seen lots of dogs microchipped and most of them don’t even realise it has happened. It only takes a few seconds and the dogs are ready to go.”

Will my dog be microchipped when I get it from a breeder or re-homing centre?
The law requires every dog over eight weeks-old to be fitted with a microchip. Re-homing centres will chip a dog before finding it a new owner.

Breeders should too, as the law says the first registered owner for all dogs should be the breeder.

This will help prospective pet owners to find out whether the dog they are buying has come from an illegal puppy farm in this country or overseas.

Lee says: “There are lots of things people should do when buying a puppy.

“Buy from a Kennel Club registered breeder and ask to see the dog with its parents.

“But microchipping is something else they can ask about. If the dog they are buying isn’t chipped, they need to ask themselves whether something isn’t quite right.”

Reading a canine microchip

How often will my dog have to be microchipped?
Your dog only needs to be microchipped once as the chip will last its whole life. You just need to contact your database and tell them when you move home or change your phone number.

If you fail to keep those details up to date you face a £500 fine.

Lee says: “If you don’t update those details the microchip is completely useless.”

Friday, March 25, 2016

Tragedy in Brussels Overshadows National Puppy Day in USA

With all the horror taking place in Brussels this week, it was easy to miss the fact that 
Wednesday March 23rd was National Puppy Day!

Happiness, Charles M. Schulz famously observed, is a warm puppy.

The goal of National Puppy Day is "to help save orphaned puppies across the globe and educate the public about the horrors of puppy mills."

Humane societies are packed with unwanted litters, strays, pickups from other shelters.
It's important to remember that those cute puppies require plenty of care and training. If you're away for nine hours a day, perhaps a puppy isn't for you.

Also, puppies do grow up. Many puppies are surrendered to the Humane Society around the 5-month mark because they've outgrown the cute stage.

But if you're ready for a puppy, no doubt there's one ready for you. Drop by your local shelter and see if you can find a friend.

Nothing will make you happier!

Extracted from coverage on CNN

Easter Eggs Can Kill Your Dogs: Keep Chocolate Away!

Every year, the Monday after Easter Sunday, Vets are overworked trying to save Dogs that are victims of Chocolate Poisoning.  So please keep your chocolate eggs away from  your chocolate-loving canine friends.  After your Egg Hunts are over, make sure you pick up any unclaimed eggs! Indeed, keep your dogs away from chocolate on any occasion!


Dog Owners Simply Don't Know the Dangers finds UK Survey
A shocking survey for Dogs Trust in the UK has revealed that over 57 per cent of pet dogs have eaten chocolate intended for humans and more than 1 in 10 have become ill from it. Of these, 8 per cent died and nearly a quarter required urgent veterinary treatment.
    Many dog owners are simply unaware of the dangers – 39 per cent of the dogs who’d eaten human chocolate were given it by their owners, while the remainder ate it because it had been just left lying around in the home.
    Chocolate contains theobromine, which is extremely toxic to dogs. Toxic doses vary according to the size of dog and cocoa solid content of the chocolate; the darker the chocolate, the greater the amount of theobromine. As a rough guide, Dogs Trust estimates that 50g of plain chocolate could be enough to kill a small dog, such as a Yorkshire Terrier.

To keep your dog safe, follow these simple rules from Dogs Trust 
● Keep your ‘Chocolate Away’ – hidden out of sight where your dog can’t reach them.
● Never feed your dog chocolate intended for humans.
● If an Easter egg goes missing and you suspect your dog is the culprit, contact your vet straight away.
● Look out for any of the following symptoms: vomiting containing blood, a sore tummy, excessive thirst, excitability, drooling, rapid heart rate and, in severe cases, epileptic-type fits.
● If your dog is displaying any of these signs take him to your vet immediately – there is no antidote for theobromine poisoning so the sooner treatment is implemented, the greater the chance of recovery.
● If you want to give your dog an Easter treat stick to natural doggy snacks.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Yellow Lab ALLEGEDLY Drives 18 Wheeler into Tree

I still don't know whether to classify this story out of Minnesota under Criminal or Funny!

"Labrador retrievers are wonderful, loving, intelligent dogs. They can do lots of people stuff, like fetch bats for a baseball team. One people skill that they are apparently pretty bad at: driving.
A yellow lab (name currently unknown) up in Mankato, Minnesota apparently took a semi truck for a joyride across North River Drive yesterday afternoon and crashed it into the Kwik Trip gas station. As you can see from the above picture, he didn’t quite park it within the allotted lines.
The Mankato Free Press was on the scene and interviewed David Stegora, who saw the whole thing go down:
“I heard the tree snap and I thought somebody decided to turn around, but then it just kept going forward,” he said.
Stegora didn’t understand how the truck was moving by itself, as he couldn’t see the driver. That changed once the dog climbed up near the driver’s side window.
It seems like the doggy hopped into the truck while it was in neutral and somehow threw it into drive. Our friend here was not, however, adept enough a driver to use his newfound powers responsibly, so he crashed it. Mankato police confirmed that, yeah, a dog really did drive a truck:
Police Cmdr. Dan Schisel said the State Patrol took an accident report and the truck was taken off the road. It’s unclear whether the truck’s owner, or the dog, will be in the doghouse over the incident.
“All I know is it was a Labrador,” Schisel said.
This dog probably just saw some videos online of other dogs driving and wanted to be as cool as they are. Can’t fault his ambition."    (Source Mankato Free Press)

According to WTHR in Indiana, Police say the adventurous pup apparently put the idling semi into gear, which sent it on its way. Police filed an accident report and took the semi off the road. No injuries were reported.