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

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

By The Revival Education Team

August 12, 2022

dog and cat indoors

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 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.

Prepaid registration cards set up the direct registration to the new owner at the time of sale, thus saving time searching for information later. The breeder or shelter purchases the cards and when an animal is adopted, the card is filled out with the pertinent information. The breeder or shelter collects the registration fee and sends in the card to transfer the registration to the new owner. 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 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 them, call our Pet Care Pro’s at 800.786.4751 for help.

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If you need help, call us at 800.786.4751.