Mike, Ute and I popped along to see the animal welfare team, Battersea Dogs home staff and Ladywell Safer Neighbourhood Team in action today, at the free dog microchipping day on Hilly Fields Crescent. When we got there, only about a dozen dogs had been chipped so far, which is somewhat less than the 30-5o dogs they normally expect on these afternoons, but more arrived, including two chihauhaus who looked very warily at the officers, as it they knew what was coming next. One owner brought along her dog who was chipped in Spain - they checked his chip and gave her the code so she could get the address changed on Petlog (so if he does get lost, he won't get sent back to Spain!).
As well as the microchipping, there was information about the work of the animal welfare team, advice available on dealing with animal behaviour problems as well as free name tags and dog poo bags. Lewisham has the second highest level of abandoned or lost dogs in London, with about 6 dogs a week abandoned and sent to Battersea Dogs' Home. These days are undoubtedly a useful way of raising awareness, but as with many things, to a large extent it is the responsible owners who bring their dogs along, and perhaps it doesn't reach those who need a bit of guidance most.