Importance of Microchipping your pet

Importance of Microchipping your pet

Kathleen R. Labrada.

Miami-Dade Animal Services Pet Adoption and Protection Center provides refuge and care to more than 27,000 abandoned or lost pets every year. The overwhelming majority of dogs and cats entering the shelter bear no identification in the form of an ID tag, rabies license or microchip. Ensuring your pet is identifiable as a member of your family is an important step to ensure prompt reunification in the event your pet becomes lost.

A study by the American Veterinary Medical Association related to stray dogs in animal shelters showed that only 21.9 percent of dogs without microchips were returned to their owners, while microchipped dogs were returned to their owners 52.2 percent of the time. In the same study cats without microchips were returned to their owners only 1.8 percent of the time, while microchipped cats were returned to their families 38.5 percent of the time.

ID tags with a telephone number are helpful only if your pet always wears the collar or harness it is affixed to. Removing the collar for even a short time places your pet at risk and reduces the likelihood of the pet being reunited with its family. Microchips provide permanent, lifetime identification affording an extra level of protection over ID tags or rabies licenses which can come loose and fall off or become worn and unreadable.

A microchip is a small computer chip about the size of a grain of rice. The microchip is enclosed in a cylinder which is injected under the pet’s skin between the shoulder blades by a veterinarian. Unlike tags that may become unreadable, the microchip provides permanent lifetime identification for your pet. No anesthesia is required for the procedure as the needle used to inject the microchip is just slightly larger than those used to administer vaccines. The microchip contains a unique identifying series of letters and or numbers linked to the name, address and telephone number the owner provides to the microchip registry company. Individuals finding a lost pet can visit Miami-Dade Animal Services seven days a week or contact any local veterinary office to have the pet scanned for a microchip.

Keeping your contact information up to date with the microchip registry ensures you will be quickly notified and promptly reunited with your pet. Speak to your veterinary provider. Due to the thousands of unidentified pets, there are always hundreds of dogs and cats daily at Miami-Dade Animal Services waiting for someone to give them a new home. To adopt a shelter pet visit the beautiful new facility located at 3599 NW 79 Avenue, Doral, FL 33122. We are open seven days a week. For information call 311.


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