Losing a pet is a devastating experience, and in fact, according to a recent survey, four in five pet owners consider losing a pet to be more traumatic than losing a job, getting in a car accident or breaking a bone. Although no pet owner ever wants to believe a beloved pet is lost or missing, there is a good chance it might happen. “One in three pets will get lost during a lifetime,” said Marty Becker, DVM. “That adds up to 10 million pets that are lost every year in the United States, and without proper identification only one in 10 will be reunited with his or her owner.”
One way to help ensure a lost pet is recovered is by encouraging pet owners to speak with their veterinarian about microchipping. Microchipping is a safe and permanent form of pet identification.
Gina King of Soledad, California, knows the value of microchips firsthand. “I spent months looking for my Shih Tzu, Radar, who ran out the front door as our children left for school,” said Gina. “I had just about given up hope of ever finding him when, a year and a half later, I got a phone call saying Radar had been found on a highway off-ramp, about 25 miles from home. Radar had been taken to a veterinary clinic, where his microchip was scanned, and my information was retrieved from the HomeAgain® database.”
Although collar tags are an easy and inexpensive way to identify pets, they can come off or be removed. Microchips are the size of a grain of rice and are inserted by your veterinarian between a pet’s shoulder blades, with no more discomfort than a routine vaccination. The microchip contains a unique number that cannot be altered. Despite the important role microchipping can play in pet safety, only one-fifth of pet owners have used this method of identification to help protect their pets.
Consider the following facts about microchipping:
• About 7,000 lost pets that are microchipped and registered with HomeAgain® Pet Recovery Service are reunited with their owners in the United States every month. That works out to a pet recovery every six minutes.
• There are about 70,000 microchip scanners currently in use by shelters and veterinary clinics across the United States, enabling your pets to be scanned no matter where they are found.