Things to know when pet is missing, stolen or if you are in a dispute

We understand that issues can arise regarding pet ownership and/or keepership and the worry and distress this can cause; particularly, where a pet is missing or stolen or where disputes arise over the ownership/sale of a pet or the rehoming of a pet.

Issues which can arise include:

  1. Partnership/custody issues over a pet
  2. Temporary foster/rehoming of an animal
  3. Sale/rehome of a pet – changing your mind
  4. Taking ownership of a stray cat

We are solely a reunification database. Most often such issues should be resolved directly with the other party or by seeking police and/or legal assistance.

Steps you need to take

1. Keep your pet’s details up to date and report missing pets

At all times ensure that the keeper details are kept up to date in terms of change of address/email address etc. A registration for a microchipped animal must reflect the physical location for any future reunification further information here. (The Microchipping of Dogs (England) Regulations 2015 have now been revoked due of the passing into law of the Microchipping of Cats and Dogs (England) Regulations 2023). Please ensure you keep your details up to date on our database.

In the event of the pet going missing/stolen or in dispute – report and ensure the registration record is flagged or locked to prevent a transfer of keepership being processed without reference to you.

It is imperative that any missing/stolen pet is reported to us by the registered keeper to enable a missing/stolen marker to be recorded. In the case of stolen pets, you should also report this to the police immediately.

If we receive a transfer of keepership application and the microchip record has a missing/stolen marker, then the registered keeper will be contacted advising them of the application and instructions on how to object before the transfer of keepership is processed.

Where the pet has not been reported as missing, we may be unable to reverse the registered keepership of the pet if the pet has already been rehomed and is now residing with a new keeper.

2. Temporary rehome/foster arrangement
If you only intend for your pet to be temporarily rehomed, make the arrangements clear with the foster carer and keep a record of the arrangement in writing. You can also record a note of second carer if your pet is on the Petlog Premium scheme – so it is not necessary for the foster carer to transfer the keepership with us.
3. Stray cats
It is important to remember that if you find a stray cat, you have a responsibility to try and locate the owner of the cat and return the cat to that owner. If you assume ownership, you should be aware that at any point in the future the original owner may lay claim and expect (by virtue of the law) that the cat is to be returned.
4. Check your pet’s microchip before you transfer keepership
Have your pet scanned by your vet or an authorised agent before you apply to transfer keepership to ensure that the microchip matches any documentation you have been provided.
5. Keeping your own records
If purchasing, selling, transferring, fostering or rehoming a pet, it is vital to exchange full contact details with the other party. We may not be able to disclose contact details once recorded on the database other than with consent.

If any issues arise, in the first instance you should attempt to resolve matters reasonably with the other party directly. If this is not possible, your next recourse should be to seek legal advice.

Important information to understand about us

6. Keepership not ownership
Petlog is a register of the keeper of an animal – it does not necessarily denote the legal ownership of an animal. The microchip is implanted in order to comply with the legislation and does not equate to proof of legal ownership and does not give/transfer such rights of legal ownership. The microchip record is intended to assist reunification with the keeper if the pet goes missing.
7. We are a reunification database
The primary purpose of a microchip registration is to hold a record of the current whereabouts and physical location of a microchipped pet. This is for the purpose of identification and reunification of such pet in the event the pet becomes lost or stolen.
8. Disputes & legal ownership

We cannot make any adjudication on any dispute over legal ownership for any pets.

Only in the event of an active court case, are we able to mark the record as disputed, over transfer of keepership/ownership then we will mark the record as disputed, which will lock the record against any further activity until we are notified the dispute is resolved.

Unfortunately we cannot advise directly how to resolve the matter other than suggesting that you seek independent legal advice as to your rights and remedies.

We will remain neutral in any ownership dispute and will update the microchip record and registered keepership upon confirmation of any court decision and/or settlement of the dispute.

To inform us of a dispute over legal ownership, please use this form.

9. Disclosure of keeper data
We have legal obligations in respect of the data required to be held on the database. We will only disclose registered keeper and pet data to the registered keeper themselves or to authorised bodies such as the police, local authorities or legal representatives as appropriate under data protection legislation.

We will not be able to provide details of a new keeper in the event of a missing/stolen/disputed pet – you will have to ask the police or legal representative to intervene on your behalf.