A missing pet can be devastating to the whole family and scary for your pet! There are steps you can take to identify your pet and increase the chance of having him returned safely to you. Collars and tags are important, but collars can break or be removed and tags can become worn and hard to read. Implanting a microchip under the skin between your pet’s shoulder blades provides a permanent form of identification for your pet.
A microchip is approximately the size of a grain of rice. It is not a GPS so it cannot act as a tracking device. Once the microchip has been implanted, the chip number and owner’s name, address and phone number are entered into the pet recovery database. It is extremely important to keep this information current. For a small fee the microchip can also be used as a lifetime license for your pet, freeing you from having to annually purchase a license.
If there is a tornado, flood, hurricane or other catastrophic event and your pet runs away, gets lost or must be left behind your pet can be tracked back to you through the microchip. A universal scanner is used to reveal the pet’s microchip number. The person scanning the pet can then enter the number into the database to find the owner’s information and help you pet return home. If your pet has a microchip, ask your vet to scan your pet annually to make sure the chip has not migrated (which rarely happens) and to ensure the chip still scans properly.
Do you know who I am? A good samaritan found me along a back road. I had no identification since I was not wearing a collar and did not have a tattoo. My rescuer took me to West Valley Animal Hospital so they could scan me for a microchip. I unfortunately was also not microchipped. This good samaritan did not stop there. She went above and beyond what most pet finders would do to help me find my family. She took my picture and went door to door asking if anyone knew me. She contacted the humane society and the local police. Luckily for me, I was reunited with my family and, boy, are my kids happy. Most missing pets, if they’re lucky, end up in a shelter. Reuniting me with my owners would have been much easier if I had a microchip. I want to give a special thank you to this good samaritan for all her efforts.
Check out the following link for a story about a dog who was reunited with his family an entire year after being separated during Hurricane Sandy: