June is National Pet Micro Chipping Month
Veterinarian Reviewed on June 11, 2009 by Dr. Janice Huntingford
The UK’s Kennel Club is celebrating National Micro Chipping Month this June and is making it out to be a campaign that both encourages and promotes responsible pet ownership through micro chipping pets.
The USA should follow their UK counterparts and also acknowledge June as National Pet Micro Chipping Month.
Owning a pet is a huge responsibility that equals a commitment to your pet for this rest of his or her life. Part of that responsibility is to make sure that your pet has proper, and up to date, identification at all times. And since collars and tags can fall off, micro chipping is the best solution.
Secretary of the UK Kennel Club, Caroline Kisko says “So many people are still unaware of how simple, effective and necessary it is to microchip their pet. It’s not until their pet goes missing that they really become aware of the value of the service.”
Unlike collars and tags, micro chipping is a permanent form of identification for your pet. The micro chip contains an identification code that is unique to your pet.
This technology as a way to identify a pet has been around since the 1980’s. It is similar in size to a large grain of rice and the implantation procedure is very quick, easy and virtually painless for your pet.
Pets can be micro chipped at veterinarian offices or animal shelters throughout the USA. Before beginning the procedure, the pet is first scanned with a special scanner to see whether there is an existing micro chip. The micro chip is then implanted via a single-use syringe just under the pet’s skin, usually on the back of their neck between the shoulder blades.
The cost is relatively cheap and can usually be done during the same time that your pet is going in to have his or her regular vaccination, or to be spayed or neutered. A micro chip has no known adverse effects on a pet’s physical or emotional health.
Once micro chipped, the pet’s owner has to fill out a simple form containing all the pet’s and the owner’s information. This form can either be mailed in or filled out online with a registry. There are quite a few registries throughout the world. Some will only register a pet’s micro chip if it has been sold through their company, whilst other registries will register any type of micro chip.
Most of these registries are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. So once a pet is found they can be quickly reunited with their owners. If your cat or dog runs away, is stolen or gets lost and is picked up and taken to either a Vet’s office or to an animal shelter, he or she will be immediately scanned to see if they have a micro chip implanted. Once detected, the registry is then contacted to confirm the owner’s information and the owner’s are then notified.
One such lucky cat is Henry, who was reunited with his owner after a 7 months and 150miles!
Henry’s owner, Bridget Wells, said that her 14 year old cat went missing from his home in Swansea, Wales, last September and was found nearly 150 miles away in the town of Coventry.
Since Henry didn’t have a collar on, he was thought to be a stray cat and was being fed for a few months by a woman living in Coventry. Once she was able to gain Henry’s trust, she brought him into an animal clinic where he was scanned for a micro chip. Well’s was then contacted and she drove immediately to Coventry to fetch Henry.
Although his wonderful, white, fur was now matted and dirty, Henry seemed nonetheless concerned over his traveling ordeal.
Well’s said, “He had a scar on his cheek and was very dazed.”
Henry has since returned to his grumpy old self and his fur has its lovely white luster back.
Well’s said that she had done everything that she could think of to find Henry:
“I came to the conclusion that he must have been catnapped. He’s had collars but he gets rid of them very quickly. Maybe someone thought he was stray.”
Well’s believes that having Henry micro chipped really saved his life: “Thank goodness he was chipped and they could reunite him with me and not have to make a decision about whether to re-home him, given the condition he was in and his age.”
A spokeswoman for the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) a non-profit animal charity in the UK said, “This case highlights the importance of micro chipping your pet as many pets go missing every year and sadly some are never found.”
Photo Credit: zimpenfish
Janice Huntingford, DVM, has been in veterinary practice for 28 years and has founded two veterinary clinics since receiving her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph. She has studied extensively in both conventional and holistic modalities. Ask Dr. Jan