Why microchips help lost pets get home faster
When Andranique and her family had their house broken into, it was a terrifying experience – but on top of that, their two dogs had escaped during the break-in. After scouring their neighborhood, they were able to locate one of their dogs, but their little poodle mix, Ace, was nowhere to be found. Not only was Ace their beloved family pet, but he was also an emotional support animal for their youngest child.
Unbeknownst to the family, Ace had been found by a good Samaritan and brought to Pasadena Humane. He was immediately scanned for a microchip (as is routine for all animals who come into our care), but he didn’t have one. Luckily, Andranique had been checking our Lost Pets page and spotted Ace’s photo. The family rushed to the shelter where they were finally reunited with their precious pup. And before Ace left, we made sure he was microchipped. If he ever goes missing again, he’ll be reunited with his family much faster. No one expects their pet to go missing, but Ace’s story shows us how important it is to prepare for the unexpected.
What is a microchip?
A microchip is a tiny chip – about the size of a grain of rice – that’s placed just under the skin between the shoulder blades. When a scanner passes over this area, the identification number is displayed on the screen. This identification number is linked to the contact information you provide when you register your pet’s chip. A study published by the American Veterinary Medical Association showed that dogs without microchips are reunited with their owners only 21.9% of the time, while microchipped dogs are returned to their families 52.2% of the time.
Does it hurt to get a microchip?
A microchip is no more painful than a regular injection. Often, microchips are implanted during a pet’s spay or neuter, but if not, this can be done during a routine veterinary office visit.
Will a microchip track my pet’s location?
No, a microchip only contains an identification number that is read by a scanner.
How can I ensure that a microchip will help reunite me with my pet?
Make sure to update your contact information associated with your pet’s chip if you move or change your phone number. Out-of-date or incorrect contact information, or even failing to register your contact information with your pet’s chip, is one of the most common reasons why microchipped pets aren’t reunited with their owners.
If my pet is microchipped, do they still have to wear an ID tag?
We recommend both a microchip and a visible ID tag. A microchip can only be read by a special scanner, so having an ID tag may help get your pet back to you faster. But unlike a collar and tags, a microchip can’t fall off or be removed.
Find out more about our Vaccine and Microchip Clinic, or check out our list of veterinary resources to find a veterinary clinic that can microchip your pet. And don’t forget to join us at our Mobile Tag Event on May 7 to get your free ID tag.