With the number of lost dogs we have seen recently, we thought it would be a great idea to share this blog with you.
Microchipping is the process of placing a small microchip (about the size of a grain of rice) under the skin of an animal. This microchip has a unique number that can be scanned by a microchip scanner. These scanners are at places like vet clinics, pounds, and SPCAs. Once we have a microchip number from the scanner, we can go online and look up the unique number and find the animals name as well as all of the animal’s information and the owner’s contact information. Microchips help reunite lost or stolen pets with their rightful owners. In a study of over 7000 stray pets, the ones with microchips were nearly 30% more likely to be reunited with their owners. This number will only increase as they become more popular. The most important thing to remember when having a microchipped pet is to keep their information up to date. If you move or change phone numbers you need to contact the microchipping company and get that information updated. Unfortunately, many people forget to do this and then when the pet is lost it cannot be reunited with the owners. All cats and dogs can be microchipped, even ones who never leave the house. You never know when an emergency will happen, such as an evacuation or a house fire, where you may lose or have to leave behind your pet. Some other pets can be microchipped as well, including some birds and horses. My own indoor only kitty is microchipped, you never know when someone may accidentally leave a door open or when an emergency will happen.
Here are some heartwarming real-life stories of pets being reunited with their owners because of a microchip.
- Emile was a black lab in France who became separated from his paralyzed owner. Emile was a great comfort to his owner, and his owner was devastated that he became lost. Emile was found 30 miles away from where he had become lost by an Italian truck driver. The driver picked him up as she was worried he was hit by a car. The driver took Emile back to Italy with her, as due to work commitments she couldn’t stop at a vet in France. Once in Italy, Emile’s microchip was scanned and after some travel arrangements were made he was reunited with his owner. In total Emile travelled 894 miles! Without his microchip, he wouldn’t have been reunited with his owner, who missed him terribly while he was missing.
- An owner had a cat named Lynx for two years before he went missing in 1997. His owner tried to find him but had no luck. Ten years later an animal shelter called her after finding Lynx and scanning his microchip.
- Hamish was a cat who jumped into a delivery van outside his owner’s house and was accidentally taken on a bit of an adventure. He ended up jumping out again at a stop at a grocery store. A few days later the owner was contacted by a vet who had scanned his microchip. Hamish has wandered into a vet clinic all on his own!
- Nigel, the parrot, was missing for four years before being reunited with his owner! A woman who owned a dog grooming business found him and scanned him for a microchip. His owner was a British man, and so when he went lost Nigel also had a British accent. When the two were reunited, the owner found out that Nigel had learned Spanish during his time away!
- Rocco the Beagle was lost for five years! He was found 850 miles away from where he had become lost. He became lost in New York City and was later found in Georgia. His family was ecstatic to have him back!
- The Michigan Humane Society found a dog with a microchip that had been missing for almost two years! She was reunited with her family.
- Gracie the miniature poodle was missing for five years! The owner believes she was originally stolen from her yard. She was brought into the Michigan Humane Society where she was scanned for a chip and reunited with her very worried and loving original owner.
- George, the cat, was missing for 13 years before being reunited with his owners. He first went missing in California in 1995. George was found by animal rescue and was very sick when found. Due to overcrowding in shelters if it weren’t for the microchip George likely would have been euthanized. Thankfully, since he had the microchip, he was reunited with his owners who got him the medical care he needed to enjoy his senior years.
- Sasha was a purebred Rottweiler who was stolen from her home in South Bend, Indiana in 2008. Her owner was devastated. Five years later her owner received a phone call that Sasha had been relinquished to the Phoenix Humane Society in Arizona. They had scanned her microchip and realized that she had an owner waiting for her in Indiana! Volunteers helped reunite Sasha with her owner by each driving a short distance with her.
Every vet clinic and animal shelter has their own amazing success stories because of microchips. It is so rewarding to see animals be reunited with their very worried owners. We do recommend that even if your pet is microchipped they still wear a collar with ID tags as some people do not know about microchips and wouldn’t think to bring the pet to a vet. If you have questions about microchipping and your pet, please don’t hesitate to give us a call.
Written by: Mikaila Cariou, RVT