Every day, too many people have to face the harsh, tragic circumstance of losing a beloved pet. Animals accidentally run away from home, and unfortunately, some are stolen from their owners. In fact, according to PetFinder.com, one in three pets will go missing during their lifetime. Many of these pets don’t have collars with proper identifcation tags, and aren’t ever returned to their families. However, as common as the heartbreak of a lost pet can be, it can be prevented.
With the great technological advancements made in the 21st Century, a new way of returning lost pets to their owners has been developed. Microchipping is the process of injecting an animal with a microscopic computer chip that can be logged into an online system. If the pet goes missing and is taken to a vet or a shelter, the vet or staff member will scan for a chip. If one is found, the serial number will show the family’s contact information so the pet can be returned.
While it may sound like a complicated process from a sci-fi film, the procedure of chipping a pet is remarkably simple. The chip is injected via a needle much like a routine vaccination. Dogs and cats are injected between their shoulders, but animals ranging in size from a bird to a horse can be implanted with a chip. The only measures required by the pet owner are to ensure that the animal avoids vigorous exercise for 24 hours after the implant and to register the chip so their contact information will be seen when the chip is scanned. The cost of the procedure averages at around $45, which normally includes a registration fee, but can be available for as little as $10. Some may be skeptical of the effectiveness of the chip, but there are countless instances of pets finding their way back home because of them.
Kelly Accettola of northern California lost her dog Bemis, claiming he was stolen from her nearly seven years ago. She was recently contacted by representatives of AKC Reunite and told that Bemis had been found. Bemis was indeed returned to Kelly, thanks to the chip he had been implanted with upon his initial adoption. NBC Los Angeles reported on a pit bull named Kona, who also went missing nearly a decade ago after being stolen. Kona was returned to her family after being found and returned due to a chip. Chipping pets gives them a lifetime guarantee that they can go home, showing that hope is never lost after a pet goes missing.
This technology has been around for several years, but many people still haven’t had their pets chipped. Vets urge families to chip their pets, saying it strongly increases the chances of them being returned home. Organizations like AKC Reunite make it their mission to return lost pets to their owners, and do so as many as fifty times every day. Pets still go missing and are taken from their families, but the price of a microchip is absolutely worth bringing them home.
For more information on microchipping your pet, visit AKC Reunite or Home Again. Have a story about a pet that was reunited with its owner thanks to a microchip? Share it with us. We’d love to hear about it.
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