Many people forget that the main benefit of microchipping is not simply complying with the law, but enabling your pet to be re-homed if he/she becomes lost and ends up at the local animal shelter.
When a pet goes missing it can be very upsetting. It can happen for many reasons. Sometimes pets are trapped in neighbours garages by mistake, they may lose track of time when wandering or hunting and sometimes they get upset and run away when changes happen in their households, to name just a few possibilities.
We recently had a dog found by one of our nursing staff wandering the streets. This very nice dog would not go home to wherever it lived, so it was brought to our clinic in Pukekohe. The microchip scanner found and identified the chip, and after considerable investigation the owner was found... in Upper Hutt.
The dog had been stolen 18 months previously, then sold on. The original owner had given up on ever seeing his dog again, but was obviously delighted and not a little emotional on getting him back.
It was also a good example of why we recommend putting the chip details on the National Database and not just the local council database. At a few dollars extra, it allows vets anywhere, anytime to link pet to owner again.
This dog was on the local council database in Wellington, and it took 24 hours of searching to locate the information required. A very happy ending to the story of a lost dog.