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Where and why to microchip your pet

By on April 24, 2016

Statistics can lie. It’s all in the way they are presented. These stats, however, are easy to interpret and it seems to me that The American Humane Association (AHA) has no reason to misrepresent the numbers.

According to a recent study, the AHA estimates over 10 million dogs and cats are lost or stolen in the U.S. every year. In addition, one in three pets will become lost at some point during their lifetimes.

A couple more numbers to make the point we’re making here hit home:

less than 1 in 4 lost dogs that enter shelters make it back to their homes. In addition,

just over one percent (ONE PERCENT!) of lost cats that enter shelters are reunited with their families. Microchipped cats find home again 38 percent of the time.

The case for microchipping your animals is an easy one to decide. Quite simply, chip your pets and they’ll have an opportunity to make it home if lost. Don’t chip them and the chances of getting your kitty or pup back are almost nil. Keep in mind, however, just because your animal has a chip doesn’t mean it can be sent straight home.

The research also indicates that on

ly 58 percent of the microchipped animals’ microchips had been registered in a database with their pet parent’s contact information. Keep your info up to date. Wherever your animal got chipped can change the information (like your name and address) stored in the chip.

Now. You know your animals should be chipped. And if your animal came from a rescue or shelter, it likely had a chip put in. Make sure your information stored on the chip is accurate. If your animal does not have a chip, your vet or your local shelter will happily place one in your pet for a small fee (and chip events happen all the time where discounts can be had). Typically, $20 or $30 is all it takes to get a chip.
“Most rescue groups and humane societies place microchips into their adopted pets so they can track them if they get lost,” says Debbie Newhouse of Omaha’s Urgent Pet Care.  ”All family veterinarians give owners the option of implanting a microchip, too.” And while Urgent Pet Care doesn’t implant chips, they and most other shelters and veterinary offices, have means to scan an animal for a chip. Having the chip is the difference between Urgent Pet Care and others getting your pet back to you, or not.
Here’s a success story from the Nebraska Humane Society that will make you smile, and further the belief that microchips are essential:

After more than 3 years, Miley is reunited with her owners thanks to her microchip!

The little dog went missing in February of 2013 from her home outside Chicago, Illinois. Saturday night, April 2, 2016, she was placed in an overnight drop kennel at the Nebraska Humane Society with no paperwork or identifying tags.  She was well fed, but severely matted, with inch long nails and in desperate need of grooming. However, her microchip traced to owners who were flabbergasted to hear she was in our care. Once we assured the Rosas that Miley, was, indeed, at NHS, Ruben and his son immediately set out the morning of April 4 on the eight hour car ride to reclaim her.

In the meantime, our groomer got to work shearing off huge mats from her ears, legs, body and tail…and she was wiggly and happy for the reunion!

“We are so happy that you had her and called us!” said Ruben. “We had gotten several calls that were false leads…so to finally get her back is amazing! My wife will be so happy.”

This is one story from one shelter. Think of how many dogs and cats are reunited with their owners each day around the country thanks to microchips? Don’t delay- if your animal is without a chip, contact your vet or local shelter and implant one today.

About Eric Forrest

Eric is a pet lover, bookworm and dad. He's had 5 family dogs, 4 cats, a cottontail rabbit he nursed back to health, and two ducks. Cats are his preference, but Eric loves all little critters.

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