Pets are registered on the national database run by Petlog via online registration, as soon as an internet connection is available.
Under current law, dogs are required to wear an identity tag when they are in public places, with the owner's name and address clearly inscribed on it. However, tags can be dislodged or the inscription worn away with time and collars slipped out of, or removed. Cats often don't wear collars, or may lose them, or don't have ID tags attached, for safety reasons.
If your dog (or cat) strays and is taken to a pound or rescue, although they will make reasonable attempts to trace and contact the owners they cannot spend a lot of time on each animal. If there has been no contact after seven days they can put your pet up for adoption and rehome it. If this happens owners have no legal right to the return of their pet, and it is not uncommon for new owners to refuse to part with pets they have legally adopted, even after as little as a week.
Having a microchip implanted identifies your dog permanently, and more rescues and dog wardens are scanning pets found wandering the streets - it's a matter of a moment for a dog to slip out of a door while a delivery is made, or to slip out through a hole in a hedge or under a fence. Dogs missing from gardens have been returned months, even years, later when they have been scanned by a vet when taken for routine treatment by new owners, who may have bought or found your pet without realising there was another owner desperate for the return of their pet.
Other pets that can have a microchip implanted by Linda are guinea pigs, rabbits, cats and ferrets, appointments available at your home only. Owners of other animals such as horses are advised to contact their own vet for details of qualified implanters. There are more details on microchipping on the Petlog website.