You’ve lost your pup or kitty. Worst feeling in the world. And far too many people go through it. According to San Antonio Animal Care Services, one in three pets go missing in their lifetime.
They escape from a yard; they push open a door that’s ajar; they bolt off when startled and you don’t have a tight grip on the leash. It can happen in a flash.
Did you know that lost pets with a microchip have a significantly higher chance of finding their way back home?
A pet microchip is a small computer chip that’s implanted under your pet’s skin. It’s about the size of a grain of rice and it contains a unique number that acts as your pet’s ID. That ID is linked to your contact information.
The first thing rescue organizations, shelters and veterinarians do when they find a lost dog or cat is check for a microchip. They use scanners that detect a microchip and read the microchip information. If they find one, it’s usually an easy matter of getting that pet back home. Of course, that assumes that the contact information registered for the microchip is up to date (more about that in a minute).
The Cannoli Fund, which services the Lavaca and King William neighborhoods, has a scanner and has successfully reunited countless pets with their families.
And, did you know that getting your dog, cat or ferret microchipped is the law in San Antonio? It has been since 2015. If you live within the city limits of San Antonio, you can get your pet microchipped for FREE at San Antonio Animal Care Services. Appointments can be made at: saacs.info/microchip.
It’s important to register and keep your pet’s microchip up to date with your current phone number and address. I personally double check my pet’s microchip information online before the New Year’s Eve and Fourth of July fireworks displays. The number of pets that go missing on those holidays is astounding.
A neighbor of mine recently found a sweet dog and and brought her to a vet to be scanned for a microchip. That pup WAS microchipped and the contact information WAS current. It turned out that she had been missing for a year! The owner and dog are now reunited and I’m sure they are making up for lost time!
I’ve rescued a lot of dogs, and sadly, in my experience, the majority of dogs I find roaming the streets are not microchipped. In some cases they are microchipped but the chip isn’t registered or the contact information isn’t current. Unfortunately, these dogs don’t get reunited with their families. I couldn’t imagine my furkids not being reunited with me if they got lost.
Such a simple thing as microchipping your pet can go a long way. Of course, collars with ID tags are also important. They can, however, fall off or break. Microchips are a permanent way of making sure your dog or cat has identification, and they give you the best chance of a happy reunion if your dog or cat is lost.
Jen Galletti fosters dogs for the Footbridge Foundation and has volunteered with the Cannoli Fund TNR proogram.
You can get your pet microchipped for FREE at San Antonio Animal Care Services.