Although just a little under 10% of councils still do not have access to microchip scanners nationwide (which is another issue we work to rectify), we also note that many of the councils who possess scanners are not always using them.
It was with that in mind that we created a petition calling for all local Mayors and Council Chiefs to look into the deceased pet scanning systems in their area and ensure that pets were being scanned when recovered from the roadsides.
Off the back of this petition, we made contact with a Mayor in Liverpool who, even though Liverpool are on the list of councils who do have access to microchip scanners, agreed to follow up and investigate the situation in his jurisdiction further, to find out the efficacy of the current deceased pet scanning systems in place.
What was revealed was, although cats found by cleaning teams were collected and kept in cold storage until either they were claimed by owners or, if not, sent to a pet crematorium in Lancashire – there was also an admission that they were not always scanning every cat found. The way it was working was actually, if there was a call in regards to a missing cat, and the cat was microchipped and matched the description of any they currently held at the depot, they would scan those one's to check if the microchip numbers matched. So any that were not described in a phone call were not scanned.
At the time, Liverpool council stated they had no intentions of changing this system, and while we can appreciate that each council is unique in how they manage the handling of deceased pets found, we could not accept that they would not be scanning all the cats brought into their remit – regardless of whether there was a phone call or not. So we challenged this.
Off the back of further talks and negotiations, Liverpool City Council are now in the process of trialling a new system where all pets (cats and dogs) collected will be routinely scanned, and any owners who can be located will be notified of their pet’s tragic end. In addition, Liverpool are investing in access to the national database which will give them full access to owner’s details on each microchip. Liverpool representatives have said that they want to get this process right and to have the best scanning system in place for their residents. They hope to have this fully operational by late spring.
This particular case just highlights again why it’s so important to think beyond just getting local councils equipped with scanners but also, ensuring that a system is in place whereby no pet is left behind or falls through the cracks.
We’d like to thank all of our supporters who signed and shared the petition that made this a reality. Because of your backing, now anyone who loses a microchipped pet in Liverpool to a road traffic accident will find out immediately instead of having to call within the weekly time limit.