Facility Management, Microchipping, Pet Care Basics, Shelter and Rescue Resources

Cat and Dog Microchips: How Microchipping Can Save a Pet’s Life

What can you do to prevent your pet from getting lost? Every year, 10 million pets are lost and without identification, almost 90 percent are never returned to their owners. Most of these pets end up in shelters, where they are adopted into new homes or otherwise euthanized.

We owe it to our pets that they not end up a statistic.

Proper – permanent — identification is the only way to ensure the return of a lost dog or cat to its rightful owner. While collars and ID tags are a good start, they can easily be removed – or the pet can get away from its owner when it is not wearing a collar.

What is a Microchip

The only permanent way to identify a pet is through microchipping. About the size of a grain of rice, a microchip, such as the Buddy ID Mini Chip, is painlessly implanted between the pet’s shoulder blades. The chip holds a specific ID number that can then be scanned with a handheld scanner, and the number matched to the owner in a national database.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has endorsed the use of microchips to identify American pets and has advocated educating the public about microchip technology as stated in its report to Congress, released in August 2007. The report states that “APHIS supports the microchipping of pets” and that it is “very interested in working with microchips manufacturers, humane organizations, veterinarians, and other stakeholders to explore options to increase the effectiveness of microchipping.”

Dan Knox, D.V.M., Task Force Member of the American MicroChip Advisory Council for Animals (AMACA) declared: “It is undisputed that microchips save pets’ lives. I expect that countless pets that are lost or displaced by hurricanes and other natural disasters will be saved over the years because the USDA supports and encourages the use of microchips.”

The Importance of Registering a Microchip

It is, of course, vitally important that the number on the microchip is associated with the owner and registered into the database. A microchip is worthless if the information on it cannot be traced.

Pre-paid Microchip Registration

A Pre-paid microchip registration will include a card with registration instructions and will have a Pre-paid Code to be used at checkout to cover the cost of a lifetime registration. A Pre-paid Registration can be used for any brand of microchip. The cost of this can be factored in when pricing the pet. The pet owner will appreciate that the cost of registration is included in the cost of the pet. Owners will not incur any annual or additional fees. This way, when a lost pet is scanned, the new owner will be contacted so they can claim their animal.

Whichever method is used for the microchip registration, it is an important step to ensure the return of the animal to the proper owner. Time is critical to an animal waiting in a shelter and having direct registration will ensure the timely return of your beloved pet.

5 Steps to Animal Recovery

1. Insert a microchip.
2. Register the animal.
3. Animal is found by third party.
4. Recovery Program is contacted to determine owner’s name and phone number.
5. You are contacted immediately and plans are made for you to bring your pet home again.

If you have any questions on microchips or how to register a microchip, call our Pet Care Pro’s at 800.786.4751 for help.

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Shelley Hexom

Written by: Shelley Hexom

Content Manager

Shelley Hexom is Revival's Content Manager and helps develop educational pet health resources. A three-time Emmy® Award-winning news anchor, Shelley works with Revival's Director of Veterinary Services, Dr. Marty Greer, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, to help create useful and easy-to-understand articles, videos, and webinars. Shelley received her bachelor's degree in Mass Communications from Winona State University in 2002. As a pet owner, Shelley enjoys time with her Boxer mix, Sally. Shelley has been part of the Revival Paw Squad since 2016.

If you need help, call us at 800.786.4751.