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Lifestyle Pets Unleashed

England mandates microchips for dogs

My family and I were cruising down a very busy six-lane road on our way to dinner two years ago when my husband suddenly hit the brakes. Two loose yellow labs cowered in the middle of the road.

It was one of those trillion-degree August days and the dogs were hot, exhausted and frightened. We got them into our car, took them home, gave them a drink, and called the animal shelter, where employees said no one had reported them missing. My vet's office was due to close in five minutes, but a technician agreed to stay open long enough for me to get there (I love my vet) and scan the dogs for microchips. In all of three seconds, we had a hit -- the technician got the owner's information from the chip embedded between one of the dog's shoulder blades and I was on my way to reunite the very relieved family.

The next morning, I went back to the vet. This time, it was for a microchip for the Labragator. I’d never thought about getting one before, but being able to return my two new yellow friends to their homes so easily made the decision a no-brainer.

This week, lawmakers in England announced that dog owners will be required to microchip their pets by 2016 or face fines of up to $800. They say that about 60 percent of pets in that country are already chipped, but that requiring the devices will take pressure off crowded shelters and help reunite lost pets with their owners.

Many dog rescues and shelters already microchip animals before they're adopted. I'm curious: Is your pet microchipped? How would you feel about that being legislated? Comment below.

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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