Mi­crochipped mog­gie’s epic jour­ney

North Shore Times - - GARDENING - JAMES PASLEY

A cat which went miss­ing for five months was even­tu­ally found on the other side of the Waitem­ata¯ Harbour, thanks to be­ing mi­crochipped.

Ear­lier this year Botany res­i­dent Ann Voykovich’s then 1-year-old cat Ol­lie went miss­ing one rainy day and wasn’t seen for the next five months.

When Ol­lie was iden­ti­fied by a vet he was about 30 kilo­me­tres from his home on the other side of the Waitem­ata¯ Harbour in Taka­puna.

Mi­crochip­ping cats has been a hot topic with Auck­land Coun­cil propos­ing in its new $307 mil­lion pest erad­i­ca­tion pro­gramme that cats will be de­fined as pests if they’re not mi­crochipped.

Un­der its new pro­gramme to rein in pests and pro­tect ecosys­tems and threat­ened species, cats with­out mi­crochips found roam­ing in sen­si­tive en­vi­ron­ments will be killed.

Gareth Mor­gan is back­ing Auck­land Coun­cil’s plan too. The Op­por­tu­ni­ties Party leader has long ar­gued for stricter rules around cat own­er­ship in or­der to bet­ter pro­tect na­tive birds.

While Auck­land Coun­cil’s fo­cus was to help ecosys­tems, Ol­lie’s story showed there were

‘‘I didn't give up hope we'd find him one day.’’

Ann Voykovich, Ol­lie's owner

other ben­e­fits to mi­crochip­ping cats.

If Ol­lie hadn’t been mi­crochipped he would have been lost for­ever, Voykovich said.

‘‘I didn’t give up hope we’d find him one day. He’s a very, very im­por­tant part of the fam­ily,’’ Voykovich said.

Ol­lie’s in­quis­i­tive na­ture meant he would of­ten get into cars and have a sniff around.

‘‘That’s the only way we thought he could get from Botany to Taka­puna. How else could he get across the harbour bridge?’’

When the vet in Taka­puna phoned Voykovich said she couldn’t be­lieve it: ‘‘I went scream­ing through the house, we jumped in the car and took off.’’

Ac­cord­ing to the New Zealand Com­pan­ion An­i­mal Coun­cil, 44 per cent of the coun­try’s house­holds have a cat com­pared with 28 per cent with dogs.

From 2011 to 2015, mi­crochipped cats in­creased from 12 per cent to 31 per cent. In com­par­i­son, 71 per cent of dog own­ers mi­crochipped their pet.

Auck­land Coun­cil biose­cu­rity man­ager Phil Brow said cats were a dan­ger to the sur­vival of nu­mer­ous threat­ened species in­clud­ing black pe­trel, Cook’s pe­trel, dot­terels and kiwi. Glob­ally, cats had con­trib­uted to 14 per cent of modern bird, mam­mal and rep­tile ex­tinc­tions, and 8 per cent of crit­i­cally en­dan­gered birds, mam­mals and rep­tiles glob­ally were threat­ened by cats.

SUP­PLIED

When Ol­lie was iden­ti­fied by a vet he was 28 kilo­me­tres from his home on the other side of the Waitem­ata Harbour in Taka­puna.

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