I’ve lost my pet – what should i do?
If your pet has identification :
If your animal has identification, your chances of finding it against are high. If it’s a dog, you must inform DOG ID (official dog registration platform) about its disappearance as soon as possible on +32 (0)2 333 92 22 and also inform the local police. In the vast majority of cases, it will end up in an animal shelter, which will immediately verify its identification and contact you without delay. This requires your details to be up-to-date on the DOG ID. If you are not given any news about your pet, we recommend that you contact animal shelters yourself for verification.
If your pet does not have identification :
Your chances of finding your pet are unfortunately much more haphazard as anyone who might have found your pet does not have any way of knowing who the owner is. You should therefore call as many animal shelters as you can, along with local police stations, to make up for the lack of identification. You can also put up posters of your missing pet in the area where it went missing and in local shops.
Since you are breaking the law by not having your pet identified (unless it was born before 1998), if it is in an animal shelter or pet charity, by law it will only be returned to you once it has been officially identified and registered, a service you will be required to pay for.
I’ve found an animal – what should i do?
Under the letter of the law, anyone who finds an animal ‘must hand it over to the local authority (the ‘commune’) within four days, but in the vast majority of cases, the local commune office is not equipped to look after animals and you will be sent to an animal shelter. It is therefore quicker to contact the local animal shelter directly, which will deal with all the legal requirements and do what is necessary to help return the animal to its home.
If the animal is correctly identified by chip or tattoo, it will almost certainly be returned to its owner.
If the animal shelter where you left the animal tells you that the pet has not been identified, it would be useful to put up posters near the area where you found it, describing the animal and giving the contact details for the refuge you took it to.
Identification and registration, what’s that?
Your pet must be identified by a microchip, also known as transponder. This is a device about the size of a grain of rice. The chip must be implanted under the skin by a veterinarian. This procedure is not very painful and can therefore be performed during a consultation. Your pet’s chip can then be decoded by a chip reader.
The tattoo is the old method of identification but beware, it fades over the years, so check that it is still legible!
The registration of dogs in Belgium is managed exclusively by DogID (formerly ABIEC). The DogID file is therefore the only national database that centralizes all dog identification in Belgium.
- Tel: +32 (0)2 333 92 22
- Website: http://www.dogid.be
Since October 10, 2017, CatID is the official cat registration platform. The CatID file is therefore the only national database that centralizes all cat identification in Belgium.
- Tel: +32 (0)2 333 49 94
- Website: http://www.catid.be
The registration of dogs and cats is now only done electronically. Sponsored by the three Belgian regions (Flanders, Wallonia, Brussels), DogID and CatID make it possible to centralize the data of canine and feline pets for the entire Belgian territory and, by formally linking them to their managers, contributes to better population control.
Please note that no other organization can register identification!
The person responsible for the animal himself is obliged to check the accuracy of his personal data in the dedicated register and must report any changes or corrections.
What’s that for?
First of all, identification helps protect your companions! Indeed, it allows to:
- Return your pet if it is lost or stolen;
- Prove that you are the owner of your pet;
- Defend yourself from the one who sold you your pet;
- Better control the animal trade.
When your pet is identified, it receives a European passport. This passport is necessary to be able to travel outside Belgium with your pet.
Moreover, it is in this booklet that the official vaccinations against rabies will be notified. Thus, for the rabies vaccination to be considered valid, your animal must have a European passport and must therefore be identified.
What the law says
In Belgium, ALL dogs born after 1998 (Royal Decree of November 17, 1994) and ALL those changing owners (sale or donation) MUST be IDENTIFIED and REGISTERED.
- If a dog is born in your home (even if you intend to keep it!), you must have it identified and registered in your name before the age of 8 weeks;
- If you wish to sell or donate a dog, whatever its age, you must have it identified and registered in your name before giving it away;
- If you buy, receive or adopt a dog, it must be identified beforehand, registered in the name of the seller, and be accompanied by its passport. You must then put it in your name (this operation is free!)
In Belgium, since September 1, 2014, the identification and registration of cats is compulsory. (Royal Decree of August 3, 2012)
- If a person has purchased, received or adopted a cat after September 1, 2014, the cat must be spayed, neutered, identified and registered.
- If a cat is born at your home (even if you intend to keep it!), you must have it identified and registered in your name before the age of 12 weeks;
- If you wish to sell or give away a cat, whatever its age, you must have it identified and registered in your name before giving it away;
- If you buy, receive or adopt a cat, it must be identified beforehand, registered in the name of the seller, and be accompanied by its passport. You must then put it in your name (this operation is free!)
Identified cats coming from abroad are registered within eight days of their arrival, by an approved Belgian veterinarian.
The obligation to register a cat on Belgian territory does not apply:
- to cats accompanying their handler during a stay of less than six months in Belgium;
- to cats bred for use in animal experimentation.
The rules for the identification of NACs depends on the species, it is nevertheless recommended for all because it allows a better traceability in case of theft or loss of your pet. This will also be necessary if you wish to take out insurance for your pet.
For the ferret, identification and registration are only compulsory if you wish to travel outside Belgian territory.
As far as parrots are concerned, most of them (Amazons, macaws, cockatoos, Senegal parrots…) are part of the so-called captive wildlife and must be identified.
Apart from dogs and cats, there is no official registration file. Thus several files coexist:
- SRPA asbl
- French Identification Register (I-CAD)
Animals must be identified, have a passport and be vaccinated against rabies to travel in Europe.
Dogs, cats and ferrets must be in possession of a European passport to travel in Europe. This passport is harmonized for all EU member states. It is issued by the veterinarian when your pet is identified by microchip or when it is vaccinated against rabies. Please note that in order to have a passport, your pet must be identified.
Dogs, cats and ferrets must be identified when travelling in Europe. In Belgium animals are identified with a chip. In addition to the microchip, tattooing alone is tolerated provided it was placed before 3 July 2011 and is clearly legible; except if you travel to the United Kingdom, Ireland and Malta.
Attention NO identification = NO European passport! And therefore no official vaccination against rabies.
Vaccination against rabies
Dogs, cats and ferrets must be vaccinated against rabies. It is essential that you contact your veterinarian to find out about the procedures to be followed when travelling within the European Union. We also advise you to make arrangements several weeks in advance (> 1 month).