The events currently in the news may have you wondering, “What would happen to my pet if we were separated?” The first answer is to keep a tag on your pet with current contact information. However, we all know that good collars are designed so that pets can get them off if they are caught on something and that pets sometimes get out without their collars. Many people are finding peace of mind with the new microchip systems.
Veterinarians can now implant microchips only as large as a grain of rice in the skin behind the pet’s neck. The chip contains a unique identification code that functions like a social security number or a vehicle identification number. Animal shelters and others with the scanning equipment can scan the pet for the existence of the chip and retrieve the unique ID code. This code is then submitted to the American Kennel Club’s Companion Animal Recovery database, and your contact information is returned.
The microchips cannot fade out like a tattoo or fall off like a tag. The implanting procedure is safe and simple. The chips come preloaded in a sterile applicator and are injected under the skin by a veterinarian in a procedure much like giving a vaccine.
The Galax-Carroll-Grayson Animal Shelter has not implemented the free scanning system at this time, but several shelters in surrounding areas have. Healing Springs Animal Hospital uses HomeAgain microchips from Schering-Plough. HomeAgain has registered more than 2 million pets and has facilitated the return of more than 200,000 pets. Every eight minutes, a lost pet is recovered thanks to the HomeAgain process. Healing Springs Animal Hospital charges only $41 for the HomeAgain implant. Enrolling a pet into the AKC’s CAR pet identification registry requires an additional, one-time enrollment fee that is valid for the life of the pet. Pet owners can update their contact information in the database as needed for no additional fee.