The first thing we do when someone brings in a found dog or cat is to scan the pet for a microchip while crossing our fingers that one has been placed. Microchips are an easy way to provide your pet with a permanent means of identification, even if the collar and tags are missing.
Travel with pets and hurricane threats to our region are two compelling reasons to consider permanent identification for your pet. When evacuating for a Hurricane, remember to take two weeks of your pet's food and medications, plenty of fresh drinking water, towels, a harness and leash for dogs and a sturdy carrier for cats and small mammals. Keep a copy of your pet's medical history from your Pet Portal or ID card for proof of vaccines and plan ahead for a pet-friendly destination. Click here for more great disaster preparedness tips from the ASPCA.
Microchip placement is a quick procedure, which can be done at an office visit to the vet. We encourage all dog and cat owners to take this precaution. After placement, we register the number in a national pet recovery database that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year by telephone or on-line. We use and recommend HomeAgain microchips for their anti-migration technology. Other microchips are much less reliable.
Works even if not registered
Even if an owner has not properly registered a microchip, the registry records where the chip was implanted, and by calling that facility, we can learn the owner’s identity. One of our patients wandered away while traveling in New Jersey, and a veterinary clinic there called us to get a mobile telephone number for the owner. The pet was returned home without ever involving animal control authorities.
Hospital information search
Our medical records are computerized, so we are sometimes able to narrow possibilities searching by breed, color and gender, and then telephone clients to ask if their pet is missing. We have been able to match pets and their families in this way, but it is much slower and does not work if the pet has not been to our hospital.