By Sam Mazzotta
DEAR PAW’S CORNER: Last spring, as I was taking my cat “Ferris” out of my mom’s car at the vet’s office, he jumped out of my arms and ran into the woods. We searched the woods and surrounding neighborhoods for hours, with no luck. About a week later, we got a call from a veterinarian almost 10 miles away from where Ferris had escaped! He was found by one of the assistants, and they had quickly identified Ferris by scanning his implanted microchip.
Please tell your readers how important it is to microchip their pets. It reunited us with Ferris quickly, once he was found. — Sarah in Smyrna, Ga.
DEAR SARAH: I’m glad to hear Ferris got home safely! Microchipping can indeed help reunite a lost pet with its owners. The biggest benefit of microchips is that if a pet loses its collar and ID tag, the microchip — a rice grain-sized device typically implanted just under the skin between the shoulder blades — carries that ID information as well as contact information.
Once a microchip is implanted, owners should register the chip’s information at an online registry such as the nonprofit Found Animals http://microchipregistry.foundanimals.org/ or a registry recommended by your veterinarian. If your pet gets lost and is found and scanned, the information will be relayed to these registries. From there, the owner can check the registries, or opt to be alerted if their pet’s chip is scanned.
Microchipping is affordable, as well. Generally, even the priciest chipping costs well under $100, and it’s often offered as part of low-cost vaccination clinics at a reduced price.