We had a sad arrival today, and initially we were worried that after the elation of Tom’s adoption yesterday, we had a replacement, but this time even older and blind to boot. Bobby is 14 years old and is blind. He is tattooed and despite his age, the tattoo is still legible. Only problem was that the owner’s details were out of date and the phone number was no longer in service. Luckily Bobby’s owners were looking for him, and he spent just a few hours at the SPA before leaving us for cooler climes! They left happily and have promised to get things put right on the database. But in any case, once a dog has been to us, we have a record of his id number and so we can contact his owners again should their dog make a return visit. In fact quite often when the Police Municipal show up with a dog, there is a chorus from the employees or volunteers of “Oh, it is So and So”, and Carole just calls the owners without even checking the chip. No one is on speed dial to the best of my knowledge, but almost!
At the SPA we are reminded every day why identification of animals is important. In fact I had coffee with a volunteer this morning and even her house-rabbit was identified. Peace of mind! But the arrival of Bobby shows that if your details are not up to date, identification does not save your dog or cat (or indeed rabbit) from being, to all intents and purposes, lost.
When a dog or cat leaves the SPA, they are initially identified in our name, as is the law. We send the paperwork to Paris, and once we receive this back, we change the ownership details to those of the adopter. During this “in-between time”, should your animal go missing, we are the ones who will be contacted (as it is our details on the date base). But of course we know where to find the new owners, and so the circle is closed. Once the final transfer of ownership is complete, we will no longer be the middle man; you will be contacted directly by the vet or SPA, or whoever has custody of your dog.
This is why in addition to micro-chipping, a collar with your phone number on it is invaluable. No need for the person finding the animal to trek to the vet to borrow a micro-chip reader; he can just call you directly. As someone helpfully wrote last time I mentioned the importance of identification (even in the form of tags), the little medals can be ordered on line for just a couple of euros. Again, not much to pay for peace of mind.
By the way, as of about the last six months an owner has the right to change the name and address of their dog. However there is a field that is closed to the public, that of “name at birth”. It is here that Carole notes the dog’s reference number and writes “SPA Carcassonne”. This way, even a dog found years later and miles away from the SPA can be traced back to us. If his owners do not want him, he will always have a home at the SPA Carcassonne until a better one comes along.
We did have a new arrival today, unidentified. Meet Zephyr, a young male who is fine with other dogs and we hope will soon be on the way to a new home, complete with micro-chip, of course!
New arrival- Zephyr