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Microchips result in higher return rate

Microchips result in higher return rate

A tracking survey performed by researchers from Ohio State University has found that microchips result in a much higher rate of return to guardians/owners.

Fifty three shelters in 23 states agreed to the study which lasted from August 2007 to March of 2008. Guardians were found for 72.9% of the animals, with 73% of owners wanting the animals back (how sad is that, really).

87% of the microchips were found upon initial scan, 10% during a medical evaluation and 2.5% immediately prior to euthanasia.

The rate of return for cats was 20 times higher and 2.5 times higher for dogs. I do not have any data on this, but my guess is most cats are not tagged or collared and free-roaming cats are at a higher risk of being taken to a shelter by neighbors than supervised or indoor cats (as an example, I work for a sanctuary for farmed animals and we get 3-5 calls daily regarding cats who people want to be picked up by the shelter b/c they are soiling their yard, killing the birds, taunting the dogs, injured, malnourished, etc). Location depending, more dogs are probably collared/tagged than cats and, in most regions, it is illegal to allow a dog to run loose. Cat guardians may see microchipping as a safe alternative to a collar and tag which might choke the cat.

Only about 1.8% of companion animals are microchipped. While I understand concerns with long-term effects of inserting a foreign object under an animal's skin, it seems the short term and long-term benefits of microchipping outweigh the currently potential negative long-term consequences. Coupled with licensing and identification tags, microchipping seems like added protection in the hopefully unlikely event your dog or cat gets loose or confiscated by animal control or taken to a vet hospital.

The American Animal Hospital Association recently launched a Pet Microchip Lookup database, which seeks to consolidate microchip identification information.

You can get your companion animals microchipped through your veterinarian or local shelter. I would suggest local shelter and ask about low-cost vaccine/microchip clinics, which are far more cost-effective than what some veterinarians charge.

Most shelters use universal scanners so it should not matter whether you go with Avid or Home Again or any other microchip company. Remember, microchips and id tags are only as good as the information you maintain. If you do not update your information, be it the phone number on the tag or in the microchip company's database, you are setting your animal up for failure.

Mina and Celeste are HomeAgain ladies and I keep all their information updated whenever I move. I have to purchase a new microchip tag for Mina as she somehow managed to lose that and her rabies tag during one of our outdoor adventures.

I hope you will consider microchipping your companion animals, if you haven't already.



( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 16th, 2009 12:58 am (UTC)
oh that microchip lookup thing is excellent! we've had a couple pets come in who were chipped with chips that weren't avid and weren't homeagain but we didn't know who to call. there are so many little registries out there now. personally i'd stick with one of the big two.
Oct. 16th, 2009 01:30 am (UTC)
Besides the yes to chipping, I must say that
1. the adorable pup up top looks like he needs some pudding and a massage, or whatever is the doggy equivalent of a Xanax,
and 2. I love love love that crazy photo of Celeste. She's so funny!
Oct. 16th, 2009 02:25 am (UTC)
Sprockets and Schnapps are microchip ladies as well!
Oct. 16th, 2009 02:51 am (UTC)
Out of the six of us, I'm the only animal in my house who isn't microchipped. I feel left out. What if I get lost??
Oct. 16th, 2009 05:17 am (UTC)
I think you can get microchipped in Florida. :)
Oct. 16th, 2009 05:19 am (UTC)
Oh, Johnny Sue! I miss her and her woe hugs! Jorge and I haven't been by the park she goes to in a long time because a) it's just not close enough and b) too many asshats play there.
Oct. 16th, 2009 10:10 pm (UTC)
happily, both puppy and molly are microchipped.
Oct. 17th, 2009 08:50 pm (UTC)
My kittens were microchipped for free when I adopted them. It seems silly, since they never leave the house by choice, and are terrified by outside. However, if they get lost in the closet and someone finds them, they will always make it back... to the living room. Really, I'm the only one around here who might benefit from a microchip, though I'm not sure who would claim me. :-P

Still, go microchips! We used to have a dog (who just showed up on our doorstep one day) that would convince our other, bigger dog, to dig holes under the fence so he could get out (then the hole-digger would be sad that his friend ran away). He always ended up at a salon (either for canines or humans), but eventually he ran away and we never got him back. Too bad my mom never thought to get him microchipped.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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