by Barry KuKes
Losing your pet can be a traumatic and even tragic event. Conscientious pet guardians protect their pets with collars and ID tags. Unfortunately, collars and ID tags are not foolproof, and dogs and cats can still get lost. Collars can break or fall-off, leaving your be-loved pet among the countless, unidentified lost strays at animal shelters. As someone who has worked at an animal shelter for over six years and has witnessed this sad scenario replay day after day, I have come to realize that the true tragedy is the fact it can easily be prevented with the use of microchips.
Halifax Humane Society has reunited many pet owners with their lost pets thanks to a microchip. There was a young lady that lost her dog when she was in Daytona Beach visiting her sister. The dog escaped from the sister’s yard and was lost for over 3-years. Then one day, the dog was brought to
Halifax Humane Society as a stray and our admissions lobby personnel scanned the dog for a chip. Long story short, the young lady was contacted and was united with her dog in 24-hours.
Another lady lost her dog and was reunited with it after 10-years! She drove from Atlanta for the reunion and was so happy when the dog recognized her after such a long time.
What Are Microchips?
Microchips are implantable computer chips that encode a unique identification number to help reunite you with your lost pet. They are no bigger than a grain of rice and they are placed under your pet’s skin with a needle and syringe, not much differently than a routine vaccine. Unlike collars and ID tags, they can never break or fall-off. They work by receiving a radio signal from a scanner and transmitting the encoded chip identification number back to the scanner. With the chip identification number in hand, the vital contact information is only a phone call away.
Studies support the importance of microchipping. According to Science Daily, the study reported that cats with microchips were 20 times more likely to be returned home than cats without, while dogs with microchips were 2.5 times more likely to be returned home than those without. The results of this study underscore the importance of microchips.
The undeniable fact remains that microchips have reunited hundreds of pets with their guardians. Of course, for a microchip to work, you will need to register the microchip and keep your contact information up-to-date. Micro- chips are reliable and use nationwide registries, but they ultimately depend on the information that you give. So, remember to update your information and provide multiple emergency contacts in case your pet gets lost while you are out of town.
Hopefully your pet will never get lost, but in case it happens, by making sure your pet has a microchip, you are giving yourself and your pet the best chance of a speedy, happy reunion. Please, remember to adopt, don’t shop.
Barry KuKes is the former Community Outreach Director for the Halifax Humane Society.