May is NATIONAL MICROCHIP YOUR PET MONTH!
A LARGE number of these pets who are found as strays, and unfortunately, for one reason or another, not reunited with their owners, and end up in a shelter.
A microchip for your pet can mean the difference between lost and found. Although tags and collars are important, they can tear or slip off. With microchipping, a veterinarian injects a tiny computer chip—about the size of a grain of rice—just under your pet’s skin, between the shoulder blades. The microchip number is entered into an international database, which can be read by a microchip scanner if your pet is lost and picked up by a veterinary hospital or humane society. If your contact information is up-to-date, the hospital or humane society that found your pet can contact you and reunite you with your pet.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), “A study of more than 7,700 stray animals at animal shelters showed that dogs without microchips were returned to their owners 21.9 percent of the time, whereas microchipped dogs were returned to their owners 52.2 percent of the time. Cats without microchips were reunited with their owners only 1.8 percent of the time, whereas microchipped cats went back home 38.5 percent of the time.”
In the cases of those animals who were microchipped but weren’t returned to their owners, the AVMA states that this was primarily due to missing or incorrect owner information in the microchip databases
The great part about a microchip is that unlike a collar or ID tag, they don’t break or fall off, and cannot be removed by a stranger.
It’s not quite enough to simply get your pet chipped. The two most important things to remember are: you have to register your chip, and you have to keep your information up to date. Otherwise, they’re pretty useless.