Around 60 Uk Cats And Dogs Go Missing Every Hour

19 June 2013

Sainsbury’s Bank Pet Insurance is urging cat and dog owners to consider having their pets electronically chipped, because its research(1) reveals that around 60 cats or dogs go missing in the UK every hour.

Its findings reveal that over the past five years 2.54 million people claim to have lost a dog or cat, but well over a third (38%) were not reunited with them.  Some 830,000 owners who were reunited with them said that the fact that their pets were chipped helped find them(1).

The supermarket bank’s research indicates that around 25% of all dogs and of 45% of all cats are not currently chipped(1).

Sainsbury’s Bank Pet Insurance welcomes the Environment Secretary’s recent announcement(2)  that all dogs in England should be chipped by 2016. As well as helping to combat the number of stray dogs in England, it could also play a significant role in reuniting lost pets with their owners.

Suzi Lavin, Sainsbury’s Pet Insurance Manager, said: “It is extremely alarming quite how many cats and dogs go missing in the UK every day. The loss of a pet can be very upsetting and stressful for owners, but having their pets chipped should increase the chances of finding them again.”

Sainsbury’s Bank Pet Insurance’s call for dogs and cats to be micro-chipped is supported by Cats Protection. Jacqui Cuff, Cats Protection’s Advocacy Manager said: “Over 90 per cent of the stray and unwanted cats that are brought to Cats Protection each year are not microchipped, so this is a real problem to cat welfare organisations like ourselves. It can end up causing ownership disputes when a previous owner comes forward to claim a cat that has already been rehomed. And yet if owners were to microchip their cats and keep the contact details on the ‘chip up to date, then we could bring about many more happy reunions.”

A vet can micro-chip a dog or cat very easily.  They insert a tiny microchip, which is the size of a grain of rice, under the animal’s skin, which gives the pet their own unique code.  The procedure is quick and painless. If the pet is lost and found, the microchip can be scanned and matched to the owner’s contact details, which are kept on a database such as PetLog.  This is the UK’s largest database of micro chipped pets.

Suzi continued “It’s particularly distressing when you think about the cases of cats and dogs who may have been injured and taken to vets, but due to the severity of the animal’s injury and the inability to get in touch with the owner, they have been put to sleep. A chip should enable owners to keep closer tabs on their animal and should alert them if their animal is hospitalised.”

In terms of which parts of Britain have seen the largest number of cases of pet cats and dogs going missing over the past five years, Sainsbury’s Bank Pet Insurance’s research reveals that the West Midlands accounted for 17% of cases, followed by London with 15%.

Location Number of people who claim that their cats/dogs have gone missing over the past five years(1) Percentage of cases of missing dogs and cats in  Britain over the past five years(1)
West Midlands 430,000 17%
London 383,000 15%
North West 293,000 11%
South East 278,000 11%
Yorks/Humb 273,000 11%
Scotland 205,000 8%
East Midlands 172,000 7%
South West 157,000 6%
Eastern 119,000 5%
North East 119,000 5%
Wales 110,000 4%

Sainsbury’s Pet Insurance provides cover for up to £7,500 per condition for veterinary treatments on its Option 2 (Premium) cover. It also provides up to £1,000 towards the advertising costs for trying to find a lost pet, and also a reward of up to £250.

Quality pet insurance does not need to be expensive; good cover at a competitive price can be found by shopping around for the best deal, and it is essential to compare policies on a like-for-like basis – comparing on price alone could be disastrous.

Sainsbury’s Pet Insurance offers an extensive range of benefits at a competitive price. For further information call 0800 434 6359, visit or pick up a leaflet instore at Sainsbury’s. Visit Sainsbury’s Bank’s Money Matters blog for additional tips on how to plan for a new dog. 


For further information, please contact:

Phil Anderson/Ewan Robertson

Citigate Dewe Rogerson

020 7638 9571

Lorna Gilmour

Sainsbury’s Bank

0131 338 2863

Notes to Editors:

Sainsbury’s Bank commissioned ICM on behalf of its Pet Insurance division. 2,003 GB adults were interviewed by ICM in an online survey between 9th and 11th November 2012. Interviews were conducted across the country and the results have been weighted to the profile of all adults.  ICM is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.  Further information at

Sainsbury’s Pet Insurance is underwritten by AXA Insurance UK plc which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.

Sainsbury’s Bank:

To view our latest press releases and product information, please visit the Sainsbury’s Bank online media centre at

Sainsbury’s was the first major British supermarket to open a bank, commencing trading in February 1997. Benefiting from a fantastic, trusted brand that enables us to combine the shopping experience with personal finance, Sainsbury’s Bank provides a range of quality products including insurances, credit cards, savings and loans. Our proposition is to make shopping more rewarding by offering customers great products at fair prices, while consistently rewarding shoppers for their loyalty and being easy to do business with at all times.  Our products consistently top Best Buy tables and regularly win awards for quality, price and service.

In Q1, 2013, the Bank has been awarded ‘Personal Loan Provider of the Year’ – Consumer Moneyfacts, ‘Best Loan Provider’ – Money Supermarket Supers and ‘Best Credit Card for Rewards’ – Moneynet.

Sainsbury’s Bank Plc is a joint venture between J Sainsbury plc and Lloyds Banking Group.

Sainsbury’s Bank has its own banking licence, is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (register no. 184514), except for Credit Cards and Loans where it is licensed by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) license no. 421897. The Bank has an independent membership to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

For further information and general Sainsbury’s Bank enquiries customers can call the freephone number on 0500 40 50 60 or visit

Notes to editors/webmasters Sainsbury’s Bank Option 2 (Premium) pet insurance cover: (note, a lower level cover option is also available)

Veterinary Fees Up to £7,500 per condition (includes up to £1,000 per condition for complementary treatments and up to £250 a year for behavioural problems).
Personal Liability Up to £2,000,000
Emergency Boarding Kennels / Cattery Fees Up to £100 a week  (max £1,000)
Daily Minding Up to £100 a week  (max £1,000)
Advertising Costs

– reward limit

Up to £1,000

Up to £250

Theft or Straying Up to £750
Death Caused by Injury Up to £1,500
Death by Illness Up to £1,000
Trip Cancellation or Return Home Up to £3,000
Expenses for referral to another vet Up to £150
Accidental damage Up to £500
Damage to kennel or basket Up to £100
Personal accident to the owner Up to £5,000
Quarantine costs Up to £2,000
Loss of Health Certificate Up to £250
Repeat Tick and worming treatment Reasonable costs
Emergency expenses abroad Up to £500