New technology to keep track of homeless dogs in Russia

In Russia, where it’s illegal to destroy unwanted animals, authorities have come up with a way to control the stray dog population. Microchips are now used to monitor the size, health, and habits of more than 20,000 dogs in Moscow.

Each microchip corresponds to a unique number with valuable information about the medical history of the dog like what vaccinations or procedures it has undergone. It takes just a few moments to implant.  The devices can be read using scanners owned by veterinary surgeries and shelters across the country.

With each microchip there is a card that holds a photograph and information which is entered into an international internet database.

“Age, colouring, approximate breed, when the vaccinations were done, if they were sterilised, where the dog was found, the address where it lives – you can find out virtually anything,” explained Natalya Khrameshina, the head of a shelter for homeless animals.

Captured dogs which can't be released immediately due to behavioural problems are rehabilitated at Moscow's only state-run animal shelter before being put up for adoption.