• Laura Lynn O’Nan Education Coordinator

Why microchip your pet

Millions of pets go missing from their homes every year in the United States. Sadly, one in three pets will become lost at some point in their life and only a fraction of them are returned home to their families. However, lost pets with an implanted microchip have a greater chance of being reunited with their family. What is a microchip? These tiny little capsules are similar in size and shape of a grain of rice. Each one contains a chip with a unique ID number on it. Each number is paired up with the pet and their parents contact information and stored in a global database. There are many companies that manufacture microchips; it is important to know what company your pets chip comes from and keep your contact information up to date with them. If your telephone number or address changes, you should call the company as soon as possible and update your information in their system. Where are they placed in your pets? Microchips are usually implanted right between the shoulder blades, just under the skin. However, they can migrate a little to one side or even down their necks or backs. They are simple to implant and can be done within a couple of minutes at your veterinary office. There is no need for them to be replaced; they will last the lifetime of your pet. How do you check a pet for a chip?

If you happen to find a lost pet with no visible ID, it is important to have it checked for a chip. A veterinarian’s office, rescue or animal control agency will have the ability to check a pet for a microchip using a hand-held scanner. These devices are passed over the skin of the pet; if a chip is detected, the scanner will display the unique ID number that can then be looked up in the global data base to retrieve the owner’s details.

Far too often many pet owners have the misconception that pets that never leave the house, or are confined with a fence when they do, can never go missing. Many of us are too comfortable with this theory. Pets are curious by nature and it only takes one time for them to push through a door, jump from a window ledge or dig under a fence and take off into the distance, lose track of their way home and become lost.

Why take the chance of your un-microchipped pets becoming lost forever? Talk to your veterinarian today about getting your pet microchipped before it becomes too late. These tiny little pieces of technology can help bring them home. To learn more, contact the Adoption Center at 859.873.5491 ormanager@woodfordhumane.org.

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