20-day countdown: Battersea reveals the dog breeds with lowest odds of finding their owners

The unluckiest dog breed in the UK is the Whippet, according to Battersea Dogs & Cats Home which last year saw 70% of Whippets arrive at the animal charity without a vital microchip, giving them the least likely odds of finding their owners.

To mark the start of the 20-day countdown until every dog in England, Scotland and Wales has to be microchipped by law, the world-renowned animal charity has revealed that the small sighthound is the least likely dog breed to come in with a microchip, making it harder to reunite lost pets with their owners. 
 
The second most likely dog to arrive at one of the Home’s three centres without a microchip was the Lurcher (46%), followed in third by the Golden Retriever (40%).
 
Steven Craddock, Battersea’s Intake manager said: “It’s really sad for Whippets that last year, through no fault of their own, they had the worst luck in finding their owners because so few had microchips. Any dog has the risk of running away, but Whippets are sighthounds and have strong natural urges to chase things, which can easily lead to a dog going missing.
 
“The new law making it compulsory to microchip your dog in England, Scotland and Wales, means the luck of the Whippets, and every other dog breed, should be turning around from 6 April. To help anyone who still needs to microchip their dogs, Battersea is offering free microchipping at its three centres in Battersea, Old Windsor and Brands Hatch, .”
 
Lost dogs can be reunited with their owners in just a couple of hours after being brought to a rescue centre, vets or Local Authorities, if they have a microchip. The chip is as small as a grain of rice and can instantly provide the contact details of the owner. Last year, Battersea reunited 542 lost pets with their owners. 
 
Steven added: “We warmly welcome the new law and hope it will mean we get to see many more reunions. To make sure this is possible, owners must microchip their dogs and update their details. It is heart-breaking to see the look on a dog’s face when it is scared and confused, pining for its owner after being brought into Battersea. It can then take around 30 days for Battersea to find new owners for dogs that come into our care. ”
 
If you have lost or found a dog or cat, please visit Battersea’s website to file a report or call the charity’s Lost Dogs & Cats Line as soon as possible on 0207 627 9245 - lines are open between 8am and 6pm seven days a week.

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Notes to Editors

  • For more information and images please contact 020 7627 9332 or email press@battersea.org.uk
  • In 2015 27% of dogs and 30% of cats arrived as strays.
  • Only 30% of strays were able to be reunited with their owners last year due to dogs arriving without a microchip or details being out of date.
  • Since it was founded, Battersea has rescued, reunited and rehomed over 3.1 million dogs and cats.
  • In 2015 the Home cared for over 8000 dogs and cats.
  • Battersea cares for an average of 260 dogs and 220 cats across its three centres at any one time.
  • There is no time limit on how long an animal can stay at the charity but the average stay for a dog is 30 days and 22 days for a cat.
  • In addition to the site in South West London, the Home also has two other centres based at Old Windsor, Berkshire and Brands Hatch, Kent.
  • Battersea Dogs & Cats Home rehomes dogs and cats all over the UK.