A 'Tail' of Four Tortoises!
On Sunday 7th June, some children playing in a play park near the Pagham Road found a tortoise. Since this was unusual and not something you find in the wild here in the UK, it was brought into us, here at AlphaPet Veterinary Clinic in West Meads. The Tortoise was quite muddy, so likely that it had recently come out of hibernation now the warmer weather has arrived. We scanned for a microchip, but none was found.
On Wednesday 10th June, another tortoise was brought in, found in a garden in Aldwick Felds. Again, we scanned for a microchip, but this one did not have one either. However, the owner of this tortoise had uniquely tried to make it identifiable and has added something to the top of the shell. Only the owner would know what this is and fortunately she had heard via facebook that we had some tortoises in our care. She was able to provide us with some photographs of her missing tortoise, showing these distinct features, which confirmed that it was hers.
Then, on Friday 12th June, we had yet another one brought into our Birdham surgery. This one was found in a garden in Farm Road, Bracklesham Bay. Again, we could not find a microchip, but it did have some distinguishing marks, one of which had been added by the owner. A few days later, a potential owner called us to report a missing tortoise which matched our records. Again we were able to re-unite them.
Just this week we had a fourth one brought in. Fortunately this one did have a microchip and so we were able to trace the owner. However, the registered details were not up to date and we had to go through a previous owner to find the current one.
This highlights the fact that if your details change, or you rehome your pet and it has a microchip, you must inform the database company that holds your records and let us, your vet, know too.
Tortoises are rare and popular pets. They should be Microchipped and registered in accordance with the current regulations.
If we do not have evidence of ownership in this way, it is very hard to re-unite them with their owners.
June is National Microchipping Month and aims to help highlight the need for getting pets microchipped. Almost any animal can have one inserted, even Tortoises, so if your pet is still without one, make sure you get them booked in. In April 2016, it will become law for all dogs to be microchipped.
If you have any information regarding the tortoise we have left, or you would like to know more about Microchipping, please give us a call on 01243 842832.
One of our nurses Natalie, is pictured above with the first 2 tortoises that came in.