Abu Dhabi Pet owners in the UAE can now register their pets’ microchip details at a first-of-its-kind registry launched in the country.
The registry called Find My Pet is the brainchild of animal group Adopt-ME.ae launched in partnership with Volunteer in UAE.
Adopt-ME founder Peta Wittig said the registry contains the pet’s microchip details and the pet owner’s contact information, thus serving as a reliable database to help reunite a missing pet with its owner. A microchip is a small device planted under the animal’s skin (usually between the shoulder blades). It has a unique number inserted when a pet is scanned at a vet or shelter.
Wittig said: “There are many microchip manufacturers and tracking pet owners based on their numbers can be a daunting task. Most microchips do not carry details of the owner. If the pet is found by a vet or a shelter, all they have is a number to work on and it can be painstaking to locate the owner. Moreover, each emirate has its own rules regarding pet registration. So we needed a centralised database system to make things easier.”
In Dubai, pet owners can register their pets with Dubai Municipality and provide their microchip and vaccination details, she said, and added that Find My Pet is only an additional tool, not a substitute for existing procedures.
Witting said the registry, which is free of charge, has elicited a huge response. “We have got 1,500 registrations and expect this number to go up to 20,000 by year-end.”
She said the owner’s personal details in the database are never shared. Anyone who finds a lost pet will be told to contact Adopt-ME to let the owner know their pet has been found.
She said pet owners wishing to use the registry must upload pictures of their pet on www.findmypet.ae, key in the pet’s microchip number and other essential data like breed, colour, age etc. Once registered, these details are captured by a central system.
“The only way a national registry can be successful is by having as many pets registered as possible. We need to get everyone with a pet in the UAE to take five minutes to list their pet details on the site.”
Wittig said it took a year to get Find My Pet rolling. It has many features, including easy-to-upload lost and found advertisements and an automated poster to help get the word out.
Animal groups across the UAE have welcomed the initiative.
Natalie Stones of Animal Action said a national database of microchipped pets has long been overdue. “There are so many pets in the UAE and having a registry of all microchipped animals is very useful. Right now when a pet is lost and found it is very difficult to locate the owner even though it is microchipped. One has to know which vet the animal was registered to locate the owner. But in the case of this website, the whole process of searching a lost pet has been simplified.”
Monserrat Martin of Friends of Animals said: “It is very important to have a centralised database. Right now if your pet is lost and found in another emirate, it is almost impossible to get it back.”
Lesley Muncey, chairperson of Feline Friends, said: “I am 100 per cent behind such a website. If there is a good number of pet registrations on the website, it will become a highly successful national database registry of all pets in the UAE.”
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