May 13 2013

The Importance of Microchipping Your Dog – A Real Life Story

The Importance of Microchipping Your Dog – A Real Life Story

 

Microchipping is a great tool to help reunite lost pets with their owners. We highly recommend that all dogs and cats get microchipped, as there is no telling when they could become separated from their families. Most every veterinary hospital, shelter, and police department have a scanner, so when they are presented with a lost pet they can read the microchip, contact the microchip company which has the owner’s information on file, so they can be called and the pet returned.

However, the system only works if the contact information is kept up to date. Let’s say your pet is microchipped at six months of age, you register with the microchip company (your veterinarian also will have your contact information on file). Years down the line, if you move, but do not update your contact information the situation may become difficult. If your pet has the misfortune of getting lost, but then is found and the chip scanned, but your old address and phone numbers are on file, there is no way you can be contacted! So if there is ever a change of address, phone numbers, emails, etc., make sure you keep it updated with the microchip company where you originally registered.

Another problem we have seen…..families get a pet from a shelter, pet store or breeder, and that pet is already microchipped. That is a nice perk, however, the microchip is registered to them not you. The microchip company can trace the microchip number back to who purchased them, but you must change the contact information to yours! So be certain that when you get a pet that is already microchipped, that you obtain the company name and phone number of the microchip manufacturer so you can call and have the new contact information.

Now for the real life story…….

One day we had a client bring a wonderful, friendly, young beagle dog into the hospital, which they had found wandering in their neighborhood. They did not see any posters, checked with the local police, veterinary hospitals, and shelters, but there was no report of a lost beagle. They brought the dog in so we could check the dog out and also see if we could determine the rightful owner.

As I am sure you can surmise, we used our microchip scanner, obtained a microchip number, and identified the manufacturer of the chip.We contacted the manufacturer who checked the registration information, and provided us with the owner’s address and contact phone numbers. They were current and they came in later that day to pick up the dog. We knew it was their dog as when he heard their voices he got all excited, started barking and was very animated in the kennel. When we let him out of the kennel he went running into their outstretched arms.A heartwarming reunion and a great example of the importance of microchipping, as well as having current information on file.

There were a couple things the family of the lost dog should have done to expedite the reunion, however. The dog had been gone a couple of days and their only attempts to find the dog was canvassing the neighborhood, calling his name. They should have called local veterinarians, shelters, and the local police to report a lost dog. In addition, they should have put up posters about the lost dog in their neighborhood. It might have got their dog back to them sooner. If it was not for our Good Samaritan client, this reunion may never have happened.

Dr. Sakas

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