With South East pinpointed as UK’s missing pet hotspot

More than 25,000 pets have gone missing in the UK since 2023 reports Petlog, one of the UK’s largest lost and found pet databases, as it urges owners to chip pets and check details this National Microchipping Month.

Petlog found that almost 5,000 dogs and over 20,000 cats were reported missing between January 2023 to June 2024.

However, during the same time period, a total of more than 3,500 dogs and over 13,000 cats were reported as found, which means – according to the Petlog database – that 74% of dogs and 62% of cats were reunited with their owners, underlining the importance of microchipping.

The lost and found database also analysed the regions in the country with high numbers of missing pets which haven't yet been reunited with their owners. Petlog says thousands of owners’ details, which are linked to their pet’s microchip, are likely out of date – making reunification impossible.

The majority were reported missing in England (around 3,400 dogs and 16,000 cats), followed by Wales (2,201 cats and 686 dogs), Scotland (553 cats and 180 dogs) and Northern Ireland (40 dogs and 111 cats). The South East is the region with the most pets reported missing, with more than 4,000 cats and 800 dogs reported missing. This was followed by the East, with more than 2,500 cats and 400 dogs going missing. Owners in the North East reported the fewest missing pets, but this was still over 500 cats and 100 dogs.

The statistics would have been a lot higher if the dogs were not microchipped, as in the South East since 2023 over 600 dogs reported as lost have since been reunited with their owner, and over 300 have been reunited in the East.

As well as the common companion animals featured on the database, other animals microchipped with Petlog included around 700 ferrets, 300 tortoises and 20 camelids.

For over 20 years Petlog, which is managed by The Kennel Club, has been running National Microchipping Month throughout June to raise awareness of pet microchipping and its benefits, and also to educate pet owners about how it works, the need to keep contact details up to date and how to get the most out of a lost and found database.

Bill Lambert, spokesperson for Petlog, said: “Pet microchips help to reunite tens of thousands of much-loved pets with their owners, but it is not a magic wand and will not work if owners do not keep their contact details up to date with their microchipping database. A lot of families move house and change phone numbers, without updating these details with their database, making it impossible to reunite their pets in a lot of cases.

“Checking and updating your details this National Microchipping Month is such a simple step but can make all the difference.”

Petlog is also reminding owners that from 10 June 2024 all pet cats in England must be microchipped before they reach the age of 20 weeks and their keeper’s contact details stored and kept up to date with a pet microchipping database linked to the microchip number. Those found not to have their cat microchipped and registered with correct details on a compliant database will have 21 days to comply, or may face a fine of up to £500.

Petlog statistics show that cats are around 9 times more likely to go missing than dogs, and the lost and found service is urging cat owners to either get their pets chipped and registered on a Defra-compliant database – like Petlog – or check their contact details are up to date if their cat is already microchipped.
More information about National Microchipping Month can be found at our website.