"find my way home" – Microchipping
On average, eight to 10 million pets are lost in the United States each year. Only a fraction of those pets, about 22 percent, find their way home after they've reached a shelter. That is in large part due to a lack of pet identification.
All pets should wear identification tags at all times. Tags should include a local contact number, as well as a number for a friend or relative. Proper identification tags are your pet's first ticket home if he becomes lost. Microchips provide an important extra level of protection in the event your pet becomes separated from his collar and tags. Providing your pet with both tags and a microchip can help ensure a happy reunion if the unthinkable happens – your beloved pet gets lost.
The benefit of microchipping animals is that it ensures that the owner can be contacted should their animal get lost or escape from their care. When combined with visible ID tags on a pet's collar, microchips constitute the most reliable system for the recovery of lost or stray companion animals. Tags can fade, rust, or get scratched and be impossible to read.
Even if your cat never goes outside, a door could easily be left open, or a screen could come loose from an open window. Unaltered pets in particular will take any chance to roam. There's a possibility that your house could be damaged in a heavy storm, flood, or other natural disaster, causing your cat or dog to run away in fear. No matter how closely you watch your animal, there's always a chance it could get out or be stolen.
In a perfect world, leashes, fences, and doors would be enough to keep your pet safe at home. In the real world, accidents happen, and your pet depends on you to protect him or her against the things that could go wrong. With a little effort now, you can take a big step toward ensuring that your companion will be with you in the future. Once the microchip is implanted, it will remain there and active for the life of the pet without needing replacement. The chip can't be lost or damaged.
Microchips can be implanted in dogs and cats at any age. Implanting a microchip is a quick, safe, non-surgical process that involves injecting a sterile microchip-about the size of a rice grain-between a pet's shoulder blades. Microchipping is virtually painless, similar to receiving a vaccination, and animals can't feel it afterwards. Millions of dogs and cats now carry a microchip.
Each chip has a unique code that, when picked up by a scanner, enables animal shelters to locate owners should pets become lost. A special scanner is used to read the microchip through the skin of the animal. The animal feels nothing as the scanner is passed over it.
When an animal arrives at a shelter, staff scans the animal. If he or she is microchipped, the unique number is read and phoned in to database operators. A check of the database will reveal information such as owner's name, address, telephone number, as well as information about the pet, such as breed, age, sex, and color pattern.
Increase your pet's chances for finding his way home – microchip!