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Microchips reunited 80% of cats with owners after quake

Microchips reunited 80% of cats with owners after February earthquake

Two key lessons from the Canterbury earthquakes were the remarkable success in reuniting lost and terrified microchipped cats with their families and the essential role of the companion animal veterinarian.

Christchurch veterinarian, Dr Ross Blanks said that well over 80 percent of microchipped cats were reunited with their owners after the quake. “This is amazing when compared with the poor reunification statistics for un-microchipped cats. Only around 15 percent of these were returned to their homes and families.”

“On this, the first anniversary of that dreadful day, New Zealanders as a whole should be planning and thinking about what could happen to their beloved pets should such another event occur.

“Clearly local authorities and homeowners are paying close attention to building structures in earthquake prone areas like Wellington.

“The NZVA suggests that similar thought should go into ensuring that all pets are microchipped and that the chips are registered on the NZCAR database. This would ensure that all animals with chips, wherever they are found, can be identified, and hopefully returned to their homes,” Ross Blanks said.

The second lesson learned was the urgent immediate need for veterinary services in areas where clinics had significant structural damage and where essential services such as power and water were cut.

“Christchurch veterinarians rose to this challenge. As the days went by the Christchurch veterinary community showed remarkable resourcefulness in providing a professional and comprehensive response to urgent animal welfare needs in the shattered city despite the odds.

Ends.../

Statistics for dogs and other animals were unfortunately not compiled.

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