It’s a terrible feeling to have your pet go missing. One excellent way toassure a reunion is microchipping, but it only works if pet owners haveregistered them, said Siskiyou Humane Society executive director Kim Latos.

“It all boils down to this: If your pet was lost right now and someone checkedthe microchip information, would they find you?” she said. “The chip is doingits job, waiting, ready to report its number to anyone that asks. Making surethat number leads back to you is your responsibility.”

While collars and tags are just as important, microchipping is permanent andsecondary, Latos said.

She added that the Siskiyou County Humane Society has met all requirements forthe 2021 No Place Like Home Challenge. The goal of the nationwide Challenge isto make Return to Home part of a culture. This means finding ways and methodsto bring pets safely home when they go missing. SCHS, along with hundreds ofother shelters across the U.S., have accepted the challenge of expanding their“return to home” programs by educating the community about the importance ofmicrochipping and ensuring pets wear ID collars.

The challenge is funded by Maddie’s Fund® and Michelson Found AnimalsFoundation, in collaboration with Adoptimize, the ASPCA, The Association forAnimal Welfare Advancement, Best Friends Animal Society, HeARTS Speak, theHumane Society of the United States, National Animal Care and ControlAssociation and Petco Foundation.

“We know it doesn’t happen overnight but small steps lead to big results,” shesaid.

Below, Latos answers questions about microchipping to give readers an idea ofwhat it entails, and why it is an effective method to bring pets back homethat go missing.

What is a microchip?

Microchips are tiny transponders, about the size of a grain of rice, that canbe implanted in your pet’s skin by many veterinarians and animal shelters;some shelters implant one in all pets they place. Microchips are a good back-up option for pet identification, but should never be the main one.

The microchips presently used in pets only contain identification numbers. No,the microchip is not a GPS device and cannot track your animal if it getslost. Although the present technology microchip itself does not contain yourpet’s medical information, some microchip registration databases will allowyou to store that information in the database for quick reference.

How does a microchip help reunite a lost animal with its owner?

When an animal is found and taken to a shelter or veterinary clinic, one ofthe first things they do is scan the animal for a microchip. If they find amicrochip, and if the microchip registry has accurate information, they canquickly find the animal’s owner.

**Will a microchip really make it more likely for me to get my pet back

if it is lost?**

Definitely! A study of more than 7,700 stray animals at animal shelters showedthat 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. For microchippedanimals that weren’t returned to their owners, most of the time it was due toincorrect owner information (or no owner information) in the microchipregistry database – so don’t forget to register and keep your informationupdated.

Does a microchip replace identification tags and rabies tags?

Absolutely not. Microchips are great for permanent identification that istamper-proof, but nothing replaces a collar with up-to-date identificationtags. If a pet is wearing a collar with tags when it’s lost, it’s often a veryquick process to read the tag and contact the owner; however, the informationon the tags needs to be accurate and up-to-date. But if a pet is not wearing acollar and tags, or if the collar is lost or removed, then the presence of amicrochip might be the only way the pet’s owner can be found.

**I just adopted a pet from the animal shelter. Is it microchipped? How

can I find out?**

If the shelter scanned the animal, they should be able to tell you if it ismicrochipped. Some shelters implant microchips into every animal they adoptout, so check with the shelter and find out your new pet’s microchip number soyou can get it registered in your name.

Most veterinary clinics have microchip scanners, and your veterinarian canscan your new pet for a microchip when you take your new pet for itsveterinary checkup. Microchips show up on radiographs (x-rays), so that’sanother way to look for one.

I want to get my animals microchipped. Where do I go?

Most animal shelters now implant microchips. Siskiyou Humane Society offersmicrochipping services by appointment. Most veterinary clinics keep microchipson hand; so, it is likely that your pet can be implanted with a microchip thesame day as your appointment.

Source:Bill Choy __Siskiyou Daily News

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