Helping your pet find their way home; how microchipping can prevent heartbreak.

Helping your pet find their way home; how microchipping can prevent heartbreak.

I’m sure most pet parents have heard this in some way or another, either from your vet, rescue organization, or friends. The fact is, sometimes microchipping your pet  can be the only way they get home.

Not too long ago, I found a dog in this exact situation. I was on my way home from work, it had been raining all day when I came around a curve in the road and saw a golden retriever walking in the road. At the particular time of day I was coming home, I knew this dog could get seriously injured from all the traffic coming through the area. So I stopped my car and as soon as I opened the car door, the dog ran and jumped in. Clearly, the dog was friendly and I was fairly positive he was lost. I checked the collar for a name tag, and it looked as though tags had been on them at some point, but all that was left was a rabies tag, loosely hanging from the wire.
I called around to vets in the area to see who was still open, and found one about 5 miles away from where I found the dog, luckily when the vet scanned him his chip was registered and the company was able to contact the dog’s owner and I was able to meet him at the PetSmart near where I’d found him. When I had told the man where I had found his dog, he was amazed he had made it over 9 miles from his home. Thankfully, Laser the Golden Retriever’s story had a happy ending but unfortunately not all dogs who wander are returned to their homes.

The American Humane Association estimates over 10 million dogs and cats are lost or stolen in the United States every year.

A study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, including 53 animal shelters across the U.S., confirmed the high rate of return of microchipped dogs and cats to their families, and the importance of microchip registration. Only about 22 percent of lost dogs that entered the animal shelters were reunited with their families. However, the return-to-owner rate for microchipped dogs was over 52 percent (a 238 percent increase).

No matter how responsible or careful you may be all it takes is one time for the door to open, the electric meter reader to leave the gate slightly unhatched, or any small accident and your beloved pet could be wandering the streets. Many pet hospitals offer microchip services, contact yours for information and pricing.

Photo Courtesy: jklarman

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