Hazel's heartbreaking find highlights importance of microchipping your cat

A vet company worker — who’s been raising awareness of new cat microchipping laws — has discovered first-hand why it’s so important after finding a dead cat on the roadside, unchipped and unidentifiable.


Hazel Willmott, 33, from Bristol, came across the lifeless pet, almost certainly the victim of a hit and run, while on her way to work early on Thursday morning.


She immediately rushed the cat to nearby Bath Vets in Keynsham to be scanned, only to find that without a microchip, the cat's owner could not be traced.


The tragic incident shines a light on a distressing issue — hundreds of dead cats are handed into UK vet practices every month, many like the cat Hazel found, without any form of identification.


Hazel says her discovery underscores the importance of cat microchipping — a simple procedure that’s set to become law in England.

Hazel, a marketing manager at Pet Health Club, said: “Finding that poor cat by the roadside was heartbreaking and a really solemn reminder that without microchipping, many cat owners are denied closure.

"The moment I realised the cat was unchipped, all I could think of was the family that might never find out what happened to him. 

“It felt like a wake-up call to the importance of microchipping. Microchipping can mean the difference between a lost pet and a family reunion. This highlights why we’ve been raising awareness of the new law.” 

From June 10, all domestic cats in England must be microchipped, and owners who fail to comply could face fines of up to £500.

An estimated 2.3 million cats in the UK remain unchipped, which poses challenges for identification and reunion with their owners.

Amelia Battersby, a vet at Pet Health Club — a preventative healthcare subscription that includes microchipping among its benefits — said Hazel’s experience is not that unusual.

She added: “Regrettably, we often encounter deceased cats that are victims of car accidents and other tragic circumstances, arriving without microchips, leaving us no way to trace their owners. 

“It's a situation that's all too common and utterly heartbreaking, and it reinforces the importance of cat microchipping."

Road where the unchipped cat was found

While UK laws mandate reporting road traffic incidents involving dogs, there’s no such requirement for cats, leaving many families in the dark about the fate of their missing pets.

Campaigners have called for changes in the law so both animals are treated equally.

NOTE: The owner of the cat has now been successfully tracked down via social media, bringing some closure to this sad story.

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