AS pets go, tortoises would not be top of the list of would-be escape artists.

But that did not stop one family paying £15 to microchip their beloved pet – just in case she made a run for it.

Vet Lloyd Davies, who performed the small procedure, said it was surprising how many tortoises did escape given half a chance.

“They do just wander off through gaps in fences or an open gate,” he said.

“They put their heads down and just go for it.”

Lloyd – who runs My Pets’ Vets in Leigh with his wife Caroline Purnell – said micro-chipping a tortoise was one of the more unusual tasks during their first year.

The nine-year-old pet called Georgia was brought in by loving owners and the procedure on her back leg went without a hitch.

There is only one problem, though, Georgia might live to 100 and no one knows if the chip will last that long.

In a busy first year for the vets in Twist Lane, they have worked with animal charities to neuter 1,066 animals including 371 dogs, 598 cats, 81 rabbits and even a pig.

Another success story came when they helped a puppy called Marley recover from ibuprofen toxicity after he raided his owner’s handbag and swallowed the tablets.

The surgery is raising money for six-year-old Kelsie Ashcroft who has an incurable brain stem tumour. Fundraisers hope to be able to send her on a trip of a lifetime to Disneyland.

Lloyd and Caroline, who live above the surgery with their toddler, expect to be kept busy despite the ongoing economic troubles facing many families.

Lloyd said: “People are obviously more worried about finances but they tend to look to make cutbacks from other areas other than their pets.”