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Microchipping and why it's important

Updated on January 29, 2016
Dogs love to run. Better protect yourself and your dog with a chip.
Dogs love to run. Better protect yourself and your dog with a chip.

Microchips save lives.

"But Abby!" You cry out. "Microchipping hurts!" No, no it doesn't. It's no worse than getting shots. Sure the needle looks a little, scary, but it really doesn't hurt. I used to work at a pet store where we sold puppies,and they never, ever cried out. Yeah I know, don't look at me like that. "Puppy stores are evil!" Well, they're out of business now so.. Back on topic.

Recently, my dog ran away. She got out of the fence and within twenty seconds, she was gone. As soon as I noticed she was gone, I took off running down the street calling for her. Nothing. That was in November. We still don't have my little girl back. We have heard of sightings of her, but no one has seen her in a month. It's cold, snowy and there are coyotes around my house. I'm dreading the worst. My other dog, Allie, wasn't chipped. Since I work at a vet clinic, I got her chipped right away. I didn't want her running away and getting picked up by someone then getting adopted out.

The Franklin County Dog Shelter here in Ohio only keeps dogs without tags or a chip for three days before they put them up for adoption. The dogs that are lucky enough to have a chip get 14 days. Here are a few facts about chips.

  1. A microchip is a small, electronic chip enclosed in a glass cylinder that is about the same size as a grain of rice. The microchip itself does not have a battery—it is activated by a scanner that is passed over the area, and the radiowaves put out by the scanner activate the chip. The chip transmits the identification number to the scanner, which displays the number on the screen. The microchip itself is also called a transponder.
  2. When an animal is found and taken to a shelter or veterinary clinic, one of the first things they do is scan the animal for a microchip. If they find a microchip, and if the microchip registry has accurate information, they can quickly find the animal's owner.
  • A study of more than 7,700 stray animals at animal shelters showed that dogs without microchips were returned to their owners 21.9% of the time, whereas microchipped dogs were returned to their owners 52.2% of the time. Cats without microchips were reunited with their owners only 1.8% of the time, whereas microchipped cats went back home 38.5% of the time. (Lord et al, JAVMA, July 15, 2009) For microchipped animals that weren't returned to their owners, most of the time it was due to incorrect owner information (or no owner information) in the microchip registry database – so don't forget to register and keep your information updated.

Is your pup or cat micro chipped?

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Take my advice.

If you've ever lost your pet, you know how heart wrenching it is. Not knowing where your pet is, if they're alive or warm. It sucks. My little Ruger is only four years old, maybe 12 pounds and she's out there somewhere. She went missing the day before she was to go in and get chipped. I do believe that it is my fault she ran away, I should have been outside with her, but the past is the past. As Rafiki said, "Oh yes, the past can hurt. But from the way I see it, you can either run from it, or... learn from it." I'm taking what I've learned and I'm spreading it to other people. Please, if you have a pet who isn't microchipped, please call your local vet or shelter to get it done. The shelters don't need more animals to take care of and the dog wardens don't want to be picking up your dead pet from the side of the road after they run.

My beautiful baby girl is out there in the cold and rain. I'm hoping someone picked her up and is loving her as much as I do.
My beautiful baby girl is out there in the cold and rain. I'm hoping someone picked her up and is loving her as much as I do.
To prevent more of these flyers from floating around, chip your dog and keep your fence gates closed.
To prevent more of these flyers from floating around, chip your dog and keep your fence gates closed.

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