Late last month, we got a call from an individual that lives near our clinic. They had found a Border Collie wandering around the neighborhood and weren't sure what to do.
A quick check for a microchip and then a phone call, we were in touch with his owners. The dog had gotten out while they were at work and they would pick him up on their way home.
If the dog hadn't found his way to us just around the corner, he may have ended up at animal control where operating hours are working hours and a fee is charged for an animals return to owner. Being transported to Kamiyama and to be housed at their facility would have been very stressful for the dog. We are glad we were contacted and could make the whole process as hassle-free and stress-free as possible.
Under Japan's "Act on Welfare and Management of Animals" revised in 2022, it became mandatory for cats and dogs sold by breeders and pet shops to implant microchips to register the owner's details.
Owners are advised to voluntarily microchip their pets and register them with the Ministry of the Environment, however it's estimated that only about 25% of pets have been microchipped.
It costs about 3000 yen to have a microchip implanted at a veterinary clinic (clinic prices vary so make sure to ask before making an appointment) but it could save you and your pet a lot of trouble and heartbreak if your pet is to go missing.
Don't forget to tag your pet as well. A phone number attached to a collar will help any good samaritan contact you to let you know your pet is looking to come home.
Veterinary clinics, government animal controls and some police stations have microchip readers. Nowadays, they can be purchased on-line for a few thousand yen so we hope that local police boxes, etc. in Tokushima will have them on hand soon enough and the process of returning lost pets will be streamlined with fewer animals finding themselves at animal control.