MICROCHIPPING doesn't just help lost animals find their way home - it is also a legal requirement in Victoria.
On October 20 PETstock will provide a $10 microchipping service to ensure local pets can be easily identified if they become lost.
2019 marks the fourth year of the national microchipping initiative run by PETstock's charity arm, PETstock Assist, to offer the service at a heavily discounted price.
It's hoped the initiative will encourage responsible pet ownership in an effort to break the cycle of pets needing to find homes.
The simple procedure can greatly assist in the quick and safe return of lost pets, reducing stress for owners and reducing the burden on pounds and animal rescue groups.
The $10 flat rate, which is a fraction of the usual price of $80, aims to encourage more pet owners to get their pets microchipped to keep them out of pounds, where it is estimated up to 200,000 pets are euthanised every year in Australia.
The initiative has seen a reduced number of pets being brought in for the procedure each year, suggesting fewer Aussie pets remain non-microchipped.
PETstock Assist charity and events coordinator Jess Guilfoyle said in 2016 a total of 8210 pets were presented for microchipping, and in 2017 another 6566 animals were brought in.
"In 2018, we were pleased to see that number further reduced to 4,200 and hope to see the number of pets in need of microchipping decrease again this year," she said.
"Microchipping is mandatory in most states; however, thousands of pets still remain non- microchipped despite the introduction of new laws.
"Whether due to the usual cost of microchipping, lack of awareness on the laws, or owners not understanding how crucial microchips are to the safe return of lost pets.
"In South Australia alone, only 6 per cent of all cats that came into the RSPCA in 2017 were microchipped, making owner and pet reunions all the more difficult.
"If you haven't had your pet microchipped, this is a fantastic opportunity to book an appointment at your local PETstock store to ensure your pet's safety, should they ever get lost."
PETstock Assist Microchip Bltiz national project manager Christine Robertson said the panic of losing a pet can be heartbreaking for pet owners as well as a traumatic experience for the lost animal.
"The Microchip Blitz aims to offer peace of mind for pet owners while reducing strain on rescue groups, who are often already understaffed and underfunded," she said.
Pet owners are encouraged to make an appointment online for their local PETstock store once appointment times are released in October.
Owners can bring in dogs, cats and small animals including rabbits and guinea pigs.
Horses, livestock, birds and reptiles will not be eligible.
What to do if you find a lost pet:
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